About Rachel Dolezal the Undercover Sista and Performing Blackness
Soooo about Rachel Dolezal… I am aware that I’m tardy for the party in throwing my hat in the ring but I’m just here so I don’t get fined. I might be a day late and a word count short but this lady has taken over our minds in the last 5 days because this is completely absurd.
My first reaction when I heard few details of the president of the Spokane NAACP being a white woman who has identified as Black for the last 15 years was to laugh to the high heavens. I cackled as I scrolled through pics of her on Google Images rocking every Black girl hairstyle ever.
She was like a poster hanging on the wall of Sheneneh’s Bump and Curl Salon where you get to pick what style you want by the numbers. I cackled as I learned that she went to Howard University and is currently a professor of Africana Studies at Eastern Washington University because she has really committed herself to this. She is Blacker than me on paper. Rachel is so down that they should be selling a 500-thread count version of a duvet called the Dolezal at Bed Bath and Beyond.
And then the #AskRachel hashtag happened on Twitter and I guffawed to the blue-corned moon as the streets of social media were littered with the edges of the Undercover Sista.
When a black preacher starts having asthmatic-like breaths, do you: A. Find an albuterol inhaler B. Scream "LET HIM USE YOU" #AskRachel
— EDIBLU (@EDIBLU) June 12, 2015
LMAOOOOO! “Let him use you!” laid me out!
Rachel Dolezal is a plum fool. The problem isn’t that she’s rocking hairstyles that she thinks Black women have. The problem isn’t that she’s the President of the NAACP. The problem isn’t that she loves Black people. The problem is that she’s trying to squeeze her white square peg into a black circle. The problem is that she insists that she goes to this Black ass school of life when she doesn’t. The problem is that her shenanigans have created a conversation that is now creating excuses for people who want to play hopscotch with their race. The problem is that she’s standing wrong and strong in all of this.
I was more amused than anything until I kept finding out about all the lies that Rachel has piled up over the years to make this fantasy work. She’s told people her father is a Black man, even taking Fake Black Daddy to some event. She’s reported that she’s been a victim of several hate crimes, even going as far as placing this in her bio. She says she has a Black son but he is actually her adopted brother from her real WHITE parents. At best, she’s a pathological liar and at worst, she might be suffering from delusions of grandeur, which means she might need to be on meds because isn’t that one of many symptoms of schizophrenia? Except she actually isn’t because her brother Ezra said she told him not to blow her cover. Rachel ain’t curling all the way over, like many of her weaves.
There’s layers and levels to this shit. There’s so many questions too, like “what is Blackness?” It surely isn’t about whether “nude” band-aids actually blend in with your skin. It surely isn’t just about loving a particular type of music. Blackness isn’t definable but I feel like we know it when we see it. It’s not about celebrating Kwanzaa like she did (which, don’t get me started), or performing “Phenomenal Woman” or eating collard greens. Blackness can be performed, though, and that is what Rachel has been doing for over a decade.
Besides that, why did Rachel feel the need to self-identify as a Black woman? Is it because she’s so committed to seeing Black people rise that she felt like the best way she could do this is by being in a play that only she knows about? Act 1: Rachel Dolezal, the daughter of two white parents who are of Czech, German and Swedish descent. Act 2: Rachel Dolezal, the tragic but empowered mulatto, daughter of a Black father and civil rights activist.
Why couldn’t she just be a very vocal white ally? I am a firm believer that we need them, because racism is not a system that Black people can “fix.” It has been created, upheld and perpetuated by Rachel’s skin folks so white people HAVE to be a part of the solution. She could have been active in the NAACP as a white woman and took her place as an anti-racism white activist. She could actually use her white privilege to create space and elevate other people of color. Instead, she is playing the part of the people she purports to be fighting for, appropriating the culture in a role that is full of mimicry of hairstyles and repetition of theory, as well as a dollop of stereotypes to make it really authentic. O____O
Her act 2 in the play has been interrupted by her parents, who dropped the dime on her and said she’s been lying like the babyhair of Chilli from TLC. Their child is not some mixed chick who has felt the struggles of being Black since she was little, but their blonde hair, blue-eyed daughter who was born in Montana. The Dolezals Kanye’ed her whole steeze, jumping on the stage in the middle of her play and snatched the mic. They didn’t even let her finish. HA!
Whatever their reasons are for snitching on her right now, I don’t even care. Rachel has spent a long time perpetrating and what’s done in the dark has come to the light (skinned). She has given speeches where she’s used “WE” when talking about the Black experience. She has created an entire career, where she’s been paid because people thought she was a Black academic. She has literally taken the spaces of Black women, and made money off a life that isn’t hers.
On top of that, reports have come out from people who said Rachel has even policed their own Blackness or their seats at the table as people of color. 3 or 4 people have come out to say they’ve had encounters where Rachel Dolezal has questioned how Black they are or whether they are worthy of speaking about white privilege in the black experience. You wanna talk about giant balls and nerve of steel. She is wearing a coat she tried on one day and decided she really liked the feel of it and then tells other people their coats aren’t worthy. It is the pot calling the kettle unBlack and that takes some nerve and possibly some boldness that comes with white privilege.
So when the peanut gallery pipes up and says Rachel Dolezal has done more for Black people than some Black women, I wanna jump up and kick them in the chin because COMME DES FACKONS. Are you serious?? The amount of people who are defending her is scary. The amount of Black people, especially.
Let’s be SUPER ULTRA EXTRA clear. Black women have always been in the trenches, fighting for equality. Even as our contributions have been erased, we’ve been there. We are the backbone of every movement that has advanced our people so the idea that some white woman who is donning what is essentially behavioral blackface is doing more than we have is not only insulting but it’s untrue.
Rachel Dolezal has based her adult life on behaving like a certain type of Black woman. THAT woman gets props for inspiring her activism, not her for repeating it. I mean, sure. Rachel might have done some great work as president of the NAACP in Spokane. She might have gone to the marches and tweeted about white privilege. Hell, she might have been in the trenches shooting with us in the gym for the last 10-15 years. However, she is where she is BECAUSE she’s behaved like down ass fight for the cause Black women before her. Thank us later (and now).
Furthermore, the work that she thinks she’s doing has actually hurt actual Black women because as she profits off behaving like us, she’s taking the place and taking the money out of one of our pockets. Many of us are never placed in the positions to tell our authentic stories as she gets stages to tell her made up ones. This is not throwing hateration in her dancerie but when you build your livelihood off writing and speaking on things that you made up, you can call yourself a fiction writer or an actress. NOT whatever the hell Rachel is doing.
Also, by excusing and defending Rachel’s foolishness, people are setting a precedence that says to other white people that they can perform Blackness as convenient to them. It’s telling other white people that you can go get some braids and study Africana studies, have black friends and go to Howard and that makes you okay to call yourself Black. As long as you’re “doing the work.” No ma’am. No sir. No Bob. No Pam. People who’ve done great work can still be enormous assholes who are out of line and out of pocket. See: many historical figures. Oh and Gandhi was racist and didn’t like Black people. He did do a lot for India, doe.
It is still important to point out that Rachel spent the last 36 years as a white woman, even under all that sun tan and dusty hair. All the privileges that comes with being a white woman are still there, and her fake ass perm twistout doesn’t preclude her from being whiter than white. She can take it on and off whenever she wants. That brings me to the next part of this.
There are people who are wondering how we can cheer on Caitlyn Jenner but not Rachel Dolezal. I want to start off by asking them to have a seat. You need to hear this and hear this well. TRANSRACIAL is not a thing. Well, not in the way it’s been used these last couple of days. Transracial actually refers to when families adopt children who are of another ethnicity or race as them. Transracial as it pertains to people feeling like they were born in the wrong skin is NOT A THING, and the comparison with people who identify as transgender needs to be deaded.
Although race is considered a social construct, it’s still very real. Socially constructed things become real when they’re embedded in the culture. Money and language are social constructs too. Santa Claus is too and we sit our yanshes down on December 25th every year and exchange gifts that we say are from him. Anywho, race is real because it has come to define our societal positions and it comes with very real and tangible consequences. The idea that you can move between races is only possible in one way: white to Black.
No Black person could ever be considered white. Even beyond the one drop rule, whiteness is considered the absence of color. I cannot wake up today and say I am white because I feel very strong towards white people or love music that I think is white. I could straighten my hair or bleach my skin but I’d still be BLACKITY BLACK BLACK. Rachel can play Black all she wants but it is not just about going natural and wearing weaves and telling people that you are being oppressed. If you have a way to opt out of it, you are not in it.
I was speaking with my girl Charlene Carruthers, a Black woman who has been organizing and working towards justice for 12 years (and National Director of the Black Youth Project 100). An actual Black woman. Because I wanted to explain carefully why the idea of transgender and whatever the hell Rachel Dolezal is doing cannot be conflated. She’s much smarter than me and she broke it down like this:
“What’s important to recognize is that someone can deliberately perform what they (or we) believe is the opposite of Blackness in America, live in a white neighborhood, have a white partner, even pass with appearance and will never have full access to whiteness. This same person can have a child that could turn out brown-skinned, could be outed as Black by a family member or actually still identify as Black. Who is white in America is defined by institutional power, and Black folks have never held that type of power. If transracialism even existed Black folks wouldn’t have access to it.“
Basically. It’s a one way street, and it’s really just another privilege that white people can claim. They could put on wigs and be Black because they listen to Jay-Z but we cannot be white no matter how much Barry Manilow we love. And no matter how straight we make our hair.
Also, as far as the transgender comparison. Gender and sex are two different things. One is social and fluid (gender) and the other is biological (sex). Transgender identity is about people who don’t identify as what they were assigned at birth. Rachel was putting on a costume but Caitlyn was taking one off to live her life in a way that was most comfortable. She did not create an entire falsified past on her way there either. The incredible Janet Mock chimes in with:
TWOC are attacked daily b/c of this pervasive myth that we are pretending to be someone we are not, and therefore should be extinguished.
— Janet Mock (@janetmock) June 14, 2015
People are outchea talmbout “Cisblack” and I want to tell the Earth to stop at the next station so I can get off. We have reached peak foolishness and I don’t wanna play anymore.
I’m not accepting Rachel Dolezal in any racial drafts because she’s a fraudulent summagoat who has gone to great lengths to do what? Chile… bye. She is not allowed at the Black People Meeting and she surely cannot come to our annual reunion. Now we gotta check EVERYBODY’s receipts at the door. Registration is gonna take forever. YOU GOT RACHEL TO THANK FOR THAT, LIGHT SKINNED FOLKS!
Oh and please stop comparing her to Michael Jackson. He had vitiligo and bleached his skin so it could all match in a milky white. Let’s be clear: MJ never identified as anything but a Black man. His possible body dysmorphic disorder aside, he was also never moving in spaces with the idea that he was white. Michael had A LOT of issues but that ain’t got nothing to do with the price of tea in China.
I’m just fascinated by how big her cheering section is. It doesn’t matter how badly white women behave; they will ALWAYS have a vocal chorus of supporters. This woman lied on her parents, lied about her background and lied about her experience. She lied about the core thing that she has used to define herself and there are people still saying “but she’s a down ass chick.” Are we that parched for white saviors that we’ll take it even when they come in fake ass packages like Rachel Dolezal?
If some of y’all borrowed from your special passion for defending white women to actually stand up for Black women, we might get somewhere.
Now I’m wondering who will play her in the Lifetime biopic titled “The Rachel Dolezal Story: What’s Melanin Gotta Do With It?”
The moral of this story is that Rachel Dolezal did not have to lie to kick it. Not only did she lie, she prostrated at the Holy altar of Fallacies and then became a priest there. And Black women are supposed to be flattered. Not when she’s walking around with that dry ass hair of hers. Hmph. Black womanhood is not an alphet (outfit) to be taken on and off and it certainly ain’t a deficience of moisture. Maybe it was the spirits of Sojourner’s truth that has kept her hair from flourishing this whole time.
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May the black hair gods smite her with traction alopecia.
I touch and agree with this petty prayer. LOL!
….and take ALL the rest of her edges too.
And I wouldn’t ordinarily wish that on my worst enemy, but sometimes exceptions just create themselves.
Yesssss and may her wig forever smell of “pump it up” and mildew
Just heard an interview today where she state her father had to flee the south om the midnight train. She said a cops was trying to hurt her grandfather and her dad slapped him back so he had to flee. Then she said her dad was a marine and had his life threatened three time by subordinate whitey. Her pathology goes deep.
Minority cultures can be just as racist as the Majority. So what if a white person wants to “act black”? Black people know how weird it is to be told “you’re acting white” coz you like rock music or opera, or watch ice hockey & talk with a non-street-lingo accent, right? Like Carlton on The Fresh Prince of Bel Air?
If you have one drop of white or black or native or asian blood, or a raised in a “white culture” or “Asian culture” or “Latino” or “black”…. WHO CARES??? And if you want to change your official identification… WHO CARES??? We’re all “mixed-race” through culture, language, society, etc… And many people actually are biologically diverse… so if they say they’re black or white or Asian, WHO ARE YOU to say they aren’t.
Stop Black racism please.
I am white, nit liberal, not PC, agree we are all one race, but disagree strongly with the sentiment. See she was a liar and it seems to come from a scholarship from a paper she wrote when wanting to go to Howard. Now I go to Gallaudet, am hard of hearing, and that is a Deaf school. It is in DC and I can take classes at any university in DC, even Howard. I was not born deaf but hearing, but now I have personal experience. I knew a girl who lied a lot and included faking being deaf! She is great at ASL but I was called hearing and deaf supported her as their own. She rode that hard…she got respect while the hoh and oral deaf and hearing interpreting students were more shunned. She was popular and also was breaking policies such as doing papers for profit for others. She graduated top honors. I wretch.
This faker woman was rude to others who were actually black and likely experienced bigotry as deaf do. The woman I knew also put me down, put down a deaf Latina, and much more. She was known to be cruel and had the nerve to say to our class she does not feel she has to stop being mean except on the job! The faker woman who stole the job of NAACP president from a real black person likely feels as entitled as this biatch did who admitted she had deaf men get vocational rehab to buy her textbooks for her since she does not qualify. Riding off of the backs of minorities because you are evil clever and a theif is sick.
It is not acting black to adore music performed by somwone black or to try to sing it just how they did…kids do that for adults and both genders sometimes. It is not white for someone to love music done by European Americans either. Even if some bully you that it is.
It is acting black to dye your hair dark, perm it, style how the Ebony magazine shows Oprah did it, tan a lot, purposefully buy a new wardrobe that is black looking to you, hire a black old guy to play your dad, lie who your mom and dad are, deny your own loving parents are your own, tell your adopted brother who is black to lie to all blacks for you, lie you gave birth to your adopted brother from.Africa, accept awards meant for black people only, put down light skinned real black people, and sue for racism because you claim to be black and insulted…and win money.
She is a no good lying theif! Maybe she needs to experience a little hate now for first time in her life. She seems to be a bit too cosy.
Rachel, is that you?
I read every day, have for years, but seldom comment.
This piece is excellent and worthy of praise and sharing, far and wide.
Me too! First time commenter also. Luvvie, you went OFF!! and I LOOVVEE it!! You better TELLEM!! I thought U dropped the mike at Ghandi, but you picked it up and kept going HARD in the paint! Phew! So clearly and eloquently explained! Best post ever!
Absolutely and well said!! I second this comment!
Screaming THAT!! All of that! Luvvie’s home y’all!
I want everyone defending her to stand in the shade.
Thank you for saying alla dis! For the life of me I can’t understand how/why people (ESPECIALLY black people) are defending her and justifying her lies. Shit is just mind boggling.
I’m allergic to stupid…unfriended 10 idiots on the Rachel bandwagon this morning…more to come.
I am noy judging this woman, nor will I defend her. I really am waiting to hear more information. She has had discord with her parents and I wonder why? The father cuts the mother off when trying to get a point across, I wonder why? Is is possible she is Black……….Mama’s baby, papa’s maybe? Just something to think about. A lot of that going on these days! Besides, you ever notice that when something negative happens regarding Black people (Texas incident) the media hones in on another story to get our minds focused on other issues of less importance? Not saying that this story is not important, it’s just that I’ve noticed that whenever there is a prominent story of white people discriminating against us in a violent manner, where it is clearly wrong, they always throw in confusion.
She also told her adopted black brother to not tell the truth as she used him as her prop and said she gave birth to him as her flesh and blood son.
I think there is enough evidence in already if you read a lot of articles. She is guilty.
Meooww! I wonder if we find out she really does have a biological father of African descent, how all this will play out then. Is it just DNA that determines who we are? our lived experiences? who we want to be? what we feel in our heart? and what about trauma and disassociation? how does that effect who we are? can other people define us? or do we get to define ourselves? I have yet to read an explanation that makes sense to me of how the color of our skin is different from the shape of our genitals in defining who we are. It’s fascinating to read all the different perspectives. on the other hand…… the violence against people of color is gut wrenchingly painful, and beyond words and I’m at a loss at this moment in time to figure out how I can move forward from here knowing that there is no apparent end to it
My DNA says I’m Native American as well as several flavors of European (German, Danish, Scottish, Irish…). But I look white, was raised without any connection to any of my ancestral cultures, and have not experienced the oppression that NDNs live with. I do not claim to be NDN, even though I have more Native blood than many who do. Why? Because to say that you are a person of color implies a lot of experiences that just are not mine to claim.
I am here for all of this!
Yes. Yes. And YES!! Sharing because you said it better than i ever could have!
I anxiously awaited your post on this foolishness. You have not let me down. Thank you, Luvvie! You have eloquently expressed all my outrage about this….what can I call it? Insanity?
I am offended by Rachel, and appalled by the large numbers of Black folk defending her. You have described it all so well; now my spirit can rest.
Please weigh in next on McKinney. You know we miss you when you’re gone, right? Soooo much! Welcome home…and back to shenanigans!
Woman can be a transman (“anyone who could and wanted to pass as white to take advantage of male privileged”) http://mentalfloss.com/article/17735/8-historical-crossdressers-women-mans-world
Man can be transwoman (“Jenner”) Especially, rich old white men. You telling me Rothblatt deserves to be “richest woman CEO” when Rothblatt spent decades being a rich white man until he got a stiffy to be a laydee? Or that Jenner knocked up three separate bitches with his girl dick but he really understands women’s struggles? Fuck that. Same fucking thing.
White women can be transblack (“Dolezal”)
Black women/men can be transwhite (“anyone who could and wanted to pass as white”). Everybody who had to move or just wanted to move to get away from racism. Like the women who did what they had to do to get away from sexism. Same fucking thing.
And by same fucking thing I mean, same fake ass bullshit. Call it blackface, or call it woman face. It’s all performance with no understanding of the struggle.
That is NOT the same thing, and being ignorant enough to say real loud that is it does not make it so.
I don’t even know where to start with this. Trans men and trans women can’t BOTH be getting male privilege at the same time, for one thing.
For another, transitioning is INCREDIBLY fucking complicated and difficult, and *dangerous*. Trans women of color in particular are murdered at a ridiculously high rate. And more than 40% of transgender people of any flavor have been suicidal, which is three times higher than the rate among straight people.
This is not some fucking game where we see some grass looks greener on the other side of the fence and go get it.
Then fucking get help for your suicidal broke ass brain. People who are suicidal have problems that a fake crotch wound won’t fix. Trans women are not women, they are trans women.
The fact trans women feel so comfortable screeching at women, threatening to “stomp fucking feminsts” or make “feminazis lick their slits” is proof they were socialized as men. Violent angry fucking entitled men telling women that they’re not womaning right.
You can stop being a trans woman any time you wanna take off your stereotypical gender conforming woman-face. Never get cut up and you can do whatever you want whenever you want. I will never loose my cramping bloody uterus or my developed brain wired to work all that plumbing. How the fuck a dick slot on a brain, gonna work a fake slit? It ain’t. I don’t care how much estrogen you soak it in, or how much ladyee fee fees you think you have. You don’t know shit. Trans women are trans women. Women are women.
I was so uncomfortable w/this article on several levels, but felt like I didn’t know how to express it w/out sounding like a jerk. Well, Jeanne, you did it for me and while you are much more forceful in your expressing you opinion than I would be, I agree with you. I just wasn’t sure how to articulate the Jenner “I’m a new woman thing’. No, not a woman like me. And ‘no’ Hell No! Donezal should not have robbed a deserving person of a full scholarship to Howard! How dare she?!
I don’t usually comment or respond on sites like this. Your response is one of the most vicious and hateful things I have read online and that’s saying something. Where is your humanity? It’s not about agreeing with the life another is leading but damn have some compassion! I don’t pretend to understand the struggle transgendered face but I know we all have hardships. That’s why God gave us each other. Maybe my burden is not like the next chick but I can still lift her up and help her on the journey.
I shouldn’t have read past this: “Then fucking get help for your suicidal broke ass brain.”
Sadly any reasonable point you tried to make got lost among your absolute desperation to divide people and their experiences. Worse, your feelings towards anyone with a psychiatric illness turned out plain as day.
Eloquently said, Dani. Thanks for combating the very hateful post above.
Yeah the difference between transgender and this race switcharoo: There is nothing stopping YOU from transitioning right now. You could take opposite sex hormones and have the right surgeries and after a while you WILL be perceived as the opposite sex and have to deal with people treating you as the opposite sex, in effect compelling you to live as the opposite sex socially and physically. Male to female, or female to male. The only thing stopping you from doing it is whether or not you actually want to go that route.
Transracial? Like Luvvie says, it only works in one direction, White to black. Never the reverse. If the “change” being made is a one way street only, it’s just privilege.
I disagree. Black Like Me peeps can clearly be black if they wanna, and entitled white assholes can dress like entitled white lady assholes. People take from people with less? No shit. Men take from women and black people take from white people. Welcome to Earth.
A brother never looks white? Plz, a 280lbs 6″4″ linebackers ain’t never gonna look like a laydee. Some people can, come cain’t. That’s life. Dolezl apparently can. Jenner can afford it, and did. So, that’s that. Like always money decides.
“Men take from women and black people take from white people. Welcome to Earth.”
This statement is problematic on many levels (e.g. ignorant or uninformed statement), and fucked up on all the rest of the other levels (e.g. racist and sexist statement). Why is this, might you ask?
That statement is the very representation of the White supremist capitalist hegemonic patriarchal society that we live in (I did not coin this phrase, bell hooks did). It is the rallying cry of the White supremeist narrative that is embedded into the fabric of society, whose presence is so ubiquitous folk like you can write that kind of nonsense and believe it to be true, to be a “fact of life” (hence the “Welcome to earth” statement).
That statement is a mind blowing one to make, especially when Awesomely Luvvie refers to the White supremist narrative in her article:
“…racism is not a system that Black people can “fix.” It has been created, upheld and perpetuated by Rachel’s skin folks so white people HAVE to be a part of the solution…”
“…Who is white in America is defined by institutional power, and Black folks have never held that type of power. If transracialism even existed Black folks wouldn’t have access to it…”
As you can see, Awesomely Luvvie points out the White supremist narrative, and addresses the structure of oppression in said White narrative.
All is not lost: Ignorance can be cured. Read bell hooks, Patricia Hill Collins, and there are tons of books you can read on Critical Race Theory (CRT). These books are valuable sources of knowledge and will help you to understand structural racism and its effects on American race class and gender issues. Finally, it will explain why your statement is so erroneous.
“Welcome to earth.” It doesn’t have to be this way.
“ Welcome to earth.” It doesn’t have to be a fact of life.
Awesomely Luvvie is “calling out” the same system that you declare is a fact of life. She is fighting against this system of institutionalized racism and sexism, and is fighting to correct this system (Social Justice).
Your statement makes a mockery of this phenomenal Black woman’s battle for Social Justice and stands as a perfect example as to why her battle is so difficult to accomplish.
you WIN. Thank you for addressing the above post so eloquently.
I don’t understand why so many ppl are so hell bent on saying black can’t look white. As if the world and race as a construct isn’t changing. I work in a profession (and I am white and it would be really hard for me to look black…but I have renewed hope!) where I have no idea how to label ppl and we typically don’t try too hard. I was mildly interested to note recently that 2 of my coworkers identify as black, when they feel like it. Totally unable to guess heritage, one says father from Trinidad, mother Norwegian, the other a beautiful woman who says her black mom is American white, dad is half black/Asian. Who cares so much? No one gives a shit what box they check on a census form. If a person with dark skin told me they were white, I would go with it. Why the hell wouldn’t I?
Your ‘contribution’ is utterly asinine. Hop over to Fox news and stay there. You are a lost cause
Welcome back Luvvie. You were missed.
Thanks for this piece. It will be spread far and wide, especially on my page – in an attempt to stop friendships from dissolving. There’s this one argument that might turn violent…
I’m as upset as you are at this caping crap. So many folks were saying, “but she’s helping our people” and I responded with, “tell me what she’s done… I’ll wait”. Like, if she was just a random Becky they would be pissed off. The niggnorance needs to go away.
YOU. DID. THAT.
Ain’t enough empty Olympic stadium seats around the world for people actually consigning this shit.
The line of the year…”you aint got to lie to kick it” .. well said… #byerachel
Right! These shenanigans can be summed up with one line from the movie, Friday:
“You ain’t got to lie, Craig (Rachel)!”
Thank you so much Luvvie for expressing in words what needed to be said abt this Rachel/NAACP fiasco. Even after the NAACP learned of her true ethnicity she is still supported. Sad. It makes the NAACP look so ignorant and Miss Ann has been playing them and others for her own benefit. Her book offer, lifetime movie, documentary…anything she can profit from….I’m sure it will be coming in the near future.
I’m sorry, but your argument about transgender feelings being acceptable, but denial that someone can feel like they are a different race is illogical. A person born as a man who lives as a man all his life who says “I really always felt like a women” is NOT taking off a costume when he begins to live as a woman. If that feeling of not being who they appeared to be on the outside is valid for gender, why is racial identity (which is a solely a societal construct that differs greatly based on where you live) so immutable? I think the outrage that people are expressing really is coming from confusing cultural appropriation (see Iggy Azealea) with someone really living their life as a black person with all that it entails.
Because 1) Gender expression and gendered self awareness is at least partially hardwired in the brain. There is no such thing as hardwiring for Race. Nobody born in Denmark is standing around wondering why its so cold all the time or where all the cheetahs and elephants are. 2) Because transition is an option for everyone, while “transracial” only works from White to Black.
Caitlynn Jenner would have to claim to be a lactating mother of triplets while hustling her way into the presidency for La Leche League USA, in order to approach the level of deception and fraud Ms. Dolezal has perpetrated on the public.
If gender expression are hardwired in the brain, then you are saying that a person whose gender identity doesn’t match their physical bodies has a broken brain that can be resolved with a medical solution. If that’s the case, instead of celebrating and embracing people with this, more effort put into treatment (just like bi-polar disorder). Also, there are many people in Denmark who hate the cold and, since the notion of “blackness” Rachel Dolezal is expressing is particularly an American construct, black people also aren’t wondering where the cheetahs and elephants are.
In response to your second argument, your second argument partially undercuts your first one. Transition isn’t open to everyone because if they aren’t hardwired to have a gender expression different from their physical body, then they would be “faking”.
And, if you think this only works from white to black, then you are woefully unaware of history. Since slavery, some black people who are very light-skinned have chosen to pass as white. Even now, I know many black people who could pass if they wanted. While it may be difficult for a brown-skinned black person to lighten her/his skin and make her/his face more “european”, it could be done with if you have the money to pay for it (see Michael Jackson).
“And, if you think this only works from white to black, then you are woefully unaware of history. Since slavery, some black people who are very light-skinned have chosen to pass as white. Even now, I know many black people who could pass if they wanted.”
Thank you for this. A few generations ago, when the “one drop rule” was in full effect, black people who “passed” were usually 1/4 or 1/8 black (thus labeled “quadroons” and “octaroons” respectively). Today, for all intents and purposes they would be just white and most wouldn’t know the difference. There was a politician in Georgia in recent years who passed for white, but folks from his home town knew the deal.
I also know of people who are “ambiguous” to the point where they can be white, black or Latino and they choose to be whichever is convenient for them at the time. IMO, if you have the “right” coloring, it is far easier, not to mention less painful and complicated, to change your perceived race than it is for someone to surgically change from male to female or vice versa.
Not the same. The African Americans that chose to pass after slavery did so for survival, NOT because they felt white. Please believe that a lot of those who passed were encouraged by their own families to do so. That is not the same as a Caucasian woman who chooses to pass as a African American woman because she wants to. I am on the fence about majority of this however, I cannot stand by and allow people to equate those that passed in order to avoid being lynched to someone who is doing it because she is more comfortable as a ” stereo typical African American woman.”
Oh most definitely. Back in the day, many blacks did pass as white for survival. However, in my example I talked about people who pass for convenience, like the Georgia politician. I know better than to think that white to black doesn’t take advantage of white privilege where black to white can’t, but reasons aside, my main point to was show that “transracial” (gee I HOPE this won;t become a real word) isn’t just one-way.
Smart1: I am not claiming transgender people’s brains are broken at all. I am claiming brain hardwiring likely has at least SOME influence on gender self expression, tho the specifities of that self expression will always vary due to the culture. (Just like human brains are hardwired to speak a language, but not a specific language). As for treatment, the treatment IS medical and surgical intervention because we already spent six decades trying to change the brain thru medicine and lobotomy to “normalize” gender behaviors in gender nonconforming people and it failed every time. It would seem, when it comes to gender identity and self expression at least, your brain is who you are much moreso than your plumbing is who you are.
I do agree that no black people are wondering where the elephants and cheetahs are either. That was my poorly worded example to say if Race were somehow hardwired, we would all have some sort of instinctual racial drive to seek out the lands of our ancestral origins, like salmon or monarch butterflies. But we don’t. The race concept didnt even exist until 500 odd years ago. The idea that people of different tribes, different countries, different languages but with nominal physical similarities are essentially the same type of person is a relatively new idea.
But for whatever reason, all human societies seem to have a gender concept, and all societies, for whatever reason, have conceived of dividing society up by reproductive capacity/plumbing. Not all societies take a hard binary stance, but the idea that people with one set of plumbing should be living one way, and people with a different set of plumbing should live another, and here is how we handle it when people want to do the things we reserved for that other plumbing set. All human societies in all known civilizations have made a decision about those phenomena, tho rarely ever the exact same decision. But the need to make the decision, if nothing else, appears to be at least as hardwired in us as language is.
As for your example of a cisgender (non-transgender) person taking cross gender hormones but not being transgender themselves. Actually, if they did this without being transgender in the first place, they will certainly experience gender dysphoria in the end, realizing that to everyone else they now appear to be the opposite sex of what they know themselves to be, and how bad it SUCKS to be misrepresented. So yes you can end up transgender even if you didn’t start off that way.
As for black people who pass for white, yes I know the history very well, and I have two siblings and several family members who have passed for white, either full time or part time. But here’s why I still say it’s a one way street… Only white people or white looking people are given the “option” to choose their racial experience. That is because of white privilege, white supremacy and how whiteness defines what blackness is, and not the other way around. When it suits whiteness’ purposes, people with 90% european ancestry and 10% african ancestry who look 100% european are classifiable as black, and if they try to pass themselves off otherwise we will do everything in our power to out them as an impostor. HOWEVER, when it suits the purposes of whiteness, a person who was born and raised white may classify themselves as “black” if they so choose, and claim blood ties to obviously black people they know they aren’t related to, because hey, we’re all from Africa aren’t we??
I’ll believe in transracial when any person of any so called “race” is free to migrate out of that category to wherever they choose and still be taken as seriously as Ms. Dolezal was. I’ll believe in transracial as soon as Viola Davis has the ability to play as many different ethnicities as Jennifer Beals and be taken seriously. I’ll believe in transracial when Lucy Liu can play JK Rowling in a movie, like Emma Stone played Allison Ng.
As for Michael Jackson, he had vitiligo. When you have vitilgo it tends to start on your fingers and face first and the face loses the most melanin. But even upon his death his entire body was not completely white, even after all those lightening treatments. So no, not even Michael Jackson with all his money could pull it off.
Is it a common thing for whites are able to call themselves black even without any black family history? Or did you mean to say that it’s your concern that they might?
Winning comment! I full cackled. 🙂 “Caitlynn Jenner would have to claim to be a lactating mother of triplets while hustling her way into the presidency for La Leche League USA, in order to approach the level of deception and fraud Ms. Dolezal has perpetrated on the public.”
God damn, YES PLEASE thank you. I cannot take the foolishness of ‘you are all hypocrites because you accept Caitlyn Jenner but not Tropic Thunder McCrazyPants’. It makes me want to hit someone.
“Tropic Thunder McCrazy Pants”, madam, you win the comments.
Um, Can I borrow that. I promise, I’ll return it next Thursday.
Dayum! Didn’t you just get back from Marrakech? I doubt you’ve even had time to completely unpack, and yet this is somehow the most thorough, and well thought out op-ed I’ll read on this while situation. Kudos, Luvvie! And welcome back. 🙂
I concur. She went in. But it was necessary because crazy Rachael deserved a thorough read.
Can I get a HELL YEAH?
Thank you Luvvie for taking this haffa to task. I’m ti’d of her and folks like Keri Hilson tambout she is doing US a justice. She isn’t doing anything but making a mockery of an entire race of people.
No amount of kanekalon is going to make her black. No unlimited membership to DarqueTan is going to make her black. No amount of slang is ever going to make her black. I don’t care how many times she’s gotten all the step to the Electric Slide right… no… no Blackness for you!
So can she please disappear into the arms of the forgotten?!
Since I first heard about her foolishness, I been saying YOU AIN’T GOTTA LIE TO KICK IT! So happy to know I’m not alone in my opinion of her.
I have been saying the same thing. When we know that someone authentically supports and takes interest in our struggle/culture we accept them. Especially if they are doing good work. There was no need for her to fake anything.
AMEN! Been saying to everyone I know who cosigns on her foolishness that she shoulda been the down white chick and kept it moving. We’d probably love her more for it!
Nice piece, Luvvie.
“Why didn’t one of her Black friends tell her about shea butter or coconut oil?.”
Have y’all ever been to Spokane??– because I have… several times. And while I know AAs exist in nearly most parts of the USA and world, it took 3 or 4 trips to Spokane before I ever saw a black person. So who, a) was really gonna help her w/ her hair ? (a joke, I know), and b) who was gonna call her on alla her shenanigans? Have you met NorthWest folks? She probably was all they could take/understand re: AA culture. Because to me, this says as much about Spokane (and all her enablers), as it does about Rachel.
I have been saying this about Spokane every time people start blaming the black community’s issues with colorism as the culprit for Rachel’s successful deception. She never lived in black areas to pull this off–she always lived in White Central, USA. If Spokane’s black population is so tiny, then her activism only affected like…what…ten black people? (being facetious about the number) Based on my reading of old articles, her claim to civil rights fame in Spokane is the nooses and hate mail allegedly sent to her NAACP office. Ironically, these reports she kept filing are what led to her downfall.
The fact that there is such a small black population in Washington is exactly why I don’t understand why she felt the need to become black in that setting. Having a white person lead the NAACP there would probably not have been considered unusual. Especially since it’s also a liberal region.
I’m invoking several petty prayers on this one:
May her weave/wigs catch fire. May all bronzer cause her to break out in an itchy, burning rash. Till she do right by black women, May there not be a pot of beans or greens that come out right in her house. And, let her cornbread be dry and flat as a pancake.
I am not sure whether to curse her with something like skin cancer/cystic fibrosis, or hypertension/sickle cell anemia. I really want her to disappear into obscurity, but her 15 minutes aren’t up yet. She is a mockery.
Ahh, the irony..she even claimed to have had sickle cell and was cured. That explained the new growth of blonde hair SMDH
wait… what????? So she has the cure for Sickle Cell but didn’t share it with the community she “belongs” to who is mostly effected by it???
Amen. And may someone turn a water hose on her freeze curls, so her neck is sticky and greasy, and smells like Pump It Up and Blue Magic.
May every CVS in town run out of brown gel, because you didn’t get the memo that sistahs haven’t used that ish since ’99, and that’s why your wig is ratchet.
May your next hair dresser literally snatch your edges, then draw them back with a toothbrush and eyeliner.
Please excuse my petty, Lord God. But this heffa has taken me there
Amen & Amen
Nothing can change for the better if hate continues to flow. Anger is understandable but harm is not.
aHHHH!!! This is hilarious!
I’m so glad you put this out there. I have been talking about this all week with people who are defending this crazy woman . I can’t see how any self respecting black woman could not feel just a little offended by this entire situation. She is deliberately posing as a black woman and creating a fake life, fake appearance, fake persona,ect., to gain money, notoriety, and respect that she would not have had she been her true self.
I appreciated your take on this situation, Luvvie, Welcome back home to the foolishness.
I am offended by Caitlyn Jenner (yeah, I said it). A woman is more than boobs, hair and cheekbones. ‘He felt like a woman his whole life’!! Dafuq!!!! He has no idea what it FEELS like to be a woman. He may have watched the three women he impregnated, and his many daughters, but he has no CLUE what it feels like to be a woman. It is offensive that he would even suggest it. However, women all over seem to be okay with it. They are lauding her in an effort to be politically correct.
Yes! They are BOTH side-eye worthy.
You know, anyone can choose not to understand another person and their point of view. I mean do you really expect him to say “I felt like my own version of what a woman might feel like, my whole life”? Or maybe “I felt like a transgender person my whole life”? Whatever a transgender person feels like!
She’s now living as a woman – her own version. You can be picky if you really want and on some levels I get it because Caitlyn Jenners never going to experience giving birth, breastfeeding, periods or growing up as a woman. But then not all women experience the same things, or those things in the same way.
Just being a woman doesn’t lock in our experiences in the same way as being black, white, or another race doesn’t. There may be ‘commonalities’, for sure. But you’re kidding yourselves if you think everything is as black and white (expression only) as many on here are describing.
So many comments on here reek of being so utterly desperate and confused about your personal identity that it smacks of carrying a banner boiling your entire person down to labels “Woman!!”, “Black!!” – while at the same time you try to prevent anyone different to you from having any similar or shared experience. It’s unfortunate.
This is a GEM as your work always is! I was looking forward to reading your take on her and it did not disappoint. I have to say though that I thought her hair was pretty bomb! Yeah, it was on the dry side but that’s how it gets for some of us with the real kinky stuff. She was tryna make it look believable! LOL! I also have to say that your photo of the one cat giving the other cat the side I made me HOWL!!! Thank you for bringing some laughter but serious truth to my day!
EXCELLENT read, one the of the best if not the best analysis/opinion pieced I have read on this subject. And I agree with every word.
Thank you, Luvvie. You speak the truth.
She got into Howard taking a spot for an ACTUAL Black woman.
I’m sure that the teaching position she has could have gone to an ACTUAL Black woman.
I have a hard time with Black folks caping for this woman harder than they ever have, say, First Lady Michelle Obama and the very REAL and CONSISTENT racial attacks against her , her daughters, and mother, since 2007.
This woman FAKED attacks on herself, thus by lessening the REAL attacks that happen to ACTUAL BLACK PEOPLE EVERYDAY.
And, now, we got White people, talking about how mean we’re being to this lying fake.
I love the Tim Wise twitter feed on this woman.
And, before, it’s all said and done, she’ll have a book and movie deal out of it.
WHITE PRIVILEGE STRIKING AGAIN.
I agree with everything you’ve said. BUT, just a point of clarification…she went to Howard as a white woman.
As a white woman who much admires black people and culture, and who longs to bridge the gaps between black and white, I am mortified that lies and deception are being so strongly reinforced and rewarded…no matter what the justification. I would love to sport tight black curly hair and to have beautiful, dark skin. Black men are attractive and beautiful. When I was making babies, I’d have loved to have a precious little brown bundle of joy. But you don’t see me running around in a bad wig, making up pretend daddies, and lying about who I am. Those things are cosmetic. My son is white and wonderful, and I wouldn’t do it any differently. I work with organizations that primarily support black communities. I live in a mostly black neighborhood. Still, I’m about as white as Wonder Bread, in action and otherwise. And I don’t try to be any different. I hope the folks deciding how to handle her untruths will stand up and say that lying isn’t to be tolerated. She isn’t a hero. And she makes it even harder for us white folks who would like to be accepted as alllies to get past that stupid white savior persona. I couldn’t “save” anyone if I tried…I just want to be part of our society’s solutions. Thanks for calling her out!
Great post !
in the words of Andre 3000, “Amen….oh, sorry God. A-Lady!”
Although I have to disagree about Jenner. Jenner & Dolezal live in privilege and attention. And pleasing their own lives. I trust it goes deeper, but those 2 public figures don’t care about the communities they proport to support (imho). That aside, I do not assume transracial & transgender belong as equals…ever.
What a terrific post! Glad to have you in the family. Your community should be proud to have you.
Respect & Love
I cannot believe that after learning the facts of this woman and how FAR she’s gone to fabricate this lie, that black folks are defending her.
There was one guy staunchly defending her on FB, and COMPLETELY ignoring her lies as if they didn’t. And all I could think is there is always going to be a black man wanting to play Captain Save a Hoe to a white woman no matter the foul shit she’s swimming in. Could you imagine if they defended their own women like that? And before anything is said, I know and am aware that ALL black men are not like this.
So this right here, “If some of y’all borrowed from your special passion for defending white women to actually stand up for Black women, we might get somewhere.” made me want to holler.
Many good points, but some fallacies here. Your notion that passing is one way makes no sense. Black people CAN pass for white if they have certain features and vice versa and many have done so for hundreds of years. Not every white can pass for black…a lot depends on your features, etc. Also, it is entirely possible that from a young age someone can feel very strongly like they were born into the wrong race. I suspect it’s quite common (I know several ppl like this) but has not truly been given a voice in the media because it is not socially acceptable.
Now where I agree with you is we shouldn’t be celebrating her and that she needs to go sit down. Some black folk almost see gleeful/validated that a white woman chooses to identify as black and make black people her life’s work. My core issue with this broad is her lack of INTEGRITY. She has lied about being born in a teepee, hunting with bows and arrows as a child, being punished according to skin color, being a victim of hate crimes. She has race-policed others for not being ethnic enough and criticized black men for dating white women. So even beyond simply lying about her race and lineage, she is a fraud and a fundamentally dishonest human being … we do not need that on the team
The thing is that most black people that can pass for white ARE part white, maybe even more white than black. And if there are other whites passing for black (I will need you to provide me with some examples here), then they probably have SOME black in them.
This woman IS NOT black nor Native American AT ALL.
So I am going to need people to stop bringing up the “passing” thing in comparison to this case, please and thank you.
In regards to your statement about ‘most black people that can pass for white are white’-
My grandmother was able to pass as a ‘white’ woman, even though she was black and had two ‘very black’ parents. So, yes black folks can racially pass. It is not just one way.
I said are “most” and “part” white. So she had two black parents? And four black grandparents? And 8 black great grandparents? And all black great great grandparents? If they were all black then yes she was an exception, and of course there are exceptions as I originally stated by saying most.
Research shows that a majority of folks are racially admixed, so it is not that uncommon. There are varying skin colors, even among family members. It is not uncommon at all for lighter or medium skin black folks to racially pass, as is seen evident in cases from black folks passing as white for their own safety. There is rarely a black person that is 100% black.
True, some light skinned Black people have been passing as white for hundreds of years but out of survival. To survive getting lynched, to survive not having a job or benefits, to survive in order to make a better life for their kids. White people wanna pass for Black just because they think it’s cool to be Black and not White. There has never been a white person needing to pass as Black out of survival. Never.
*Hand Claps* YES!!!! Thank you for saying this! I hate when people say black people have been passing as white for years. Are any of them the head of the KKK? Are they the president of a racist bikers club? NO!
I was saying there are people (of all races) who FEEL like they were born into the wrong race for any number of reasons… wasnt saying they are all passing. I mentioned passing because the author mentioned it as a one-way street and it absolutely is not. I’ve met 3 different black people passing for white in my lifetime. I’m confused, are you asking for their names??
Lastly, many white Americans are part black… especially if they are from the South.There is a lot of mixed blood pumping thru all of our veins which with the right accoutrements, could enable them to pass.
I think one reason a white woman (who incidentally is not very attractive) may want to pass for black is she moves up to the top of the food chain in her new ethnicity given the privelege her skin color affords her. She goes from invisible to revered instantly…just a thought
I know many blacks have passed for white. Your original post said “Black people CAN pass for white if they have certain features and vice versa and many have done so for hundreds of years,” which I assume by ‘vice versa and many have done do for hundreds of years’ to mean there are also many whites passing as black. I do not know of many people who are white that live as black and say they are black except for Dolezal. So, I asked you for some more examples.
You are missing the point. The black people who pass for white will always have to live with the fear that a child will be born who looks black. So it is not the same as a white person putting on blackface.
If you read books on passing, you will find that to be the core danger for the black people who lived as white. Genetics can be a mystery.
Yet numerous people did it anyway (and still do) despite this fear. They are concious about who they marry to minimize the odds of an accidental black child.
Interestingly enough, my blond haired blue eyed boss just told me last month that she discovered her own mother was passing as a result of some ancestry.com work they had done. She is one of 6 kids born to what they thought was an Irish-immigrant couple. Her parents died at a young age and didn’t know much about her mom’s background but thought she may be mixed with smidge of Native American… turns out she was hiding the fact that she was half black.
You are incredibly naive, historically uninformed, or just seeing what you want to see if you don’t think this happens…. especially in the direction of black passing for white.
I really don’t believe anyone is disagreeing with the fact that many blacks have passed for white. But the fact is they are still usually considered black. And the point that your bosses’ mother was half black means the other half was white, right? So she was as much white as she was black. Also, now that your boss knows this fact, is she still “white” or is she now part black?
Blacks who discover white ancestors never become white, they stay black.
Again, Dolezal has NO black nor Native American ancestry.
Until that baby comes with a “tinge” of color. #outed
yessssss. Youve preached a word!!!!! You’ve perfectly articulated my thoughts!
YES. ALL. OF. THIS.
If she had put on the same costume and gone all “wigger” with it, talking about “Look, I’m black!” folks would be ready to lynch her. But because she’s doing positive work, it’s ok to pretend that being black = box braids + tanning bed?
I think you’re underestimating the vitriol that now exists towards her.
Im a middle aged white woman and Ill stand with any one who wants to HONESTLY advance the cause of true equality for everyone. Gender. Sexual orientation. Race. Whatever. Im there because I know its the right thing to do. But, to lie and pretend and muddy the waters with shady shit IS NOT HELPING. Its confusing. Its distracting. Eyes need to be kept on the ball. Ill leave The watching to the people in charge, though. People of color get to call the shots where racial inequality is the topic because they know the game like the back of their hands. As much as I can try I will never know what its like. I just wish Rachel really understood that. If she had she wouldnt be in this fix.
*stands and claps and hollers*
YESSSSS. This deserved a COMME DES FACKONS read and here it is. I am here for it all, every word, comma and period.
YAASSSS. You did that, Luvvie. It’s a white privilege thing: to believe she’d co-opt a race and get away with it.
I am not a church-goer…
But I Sweater God I just about jumped out my chair and did the Holy Ghost dance reading this. Whoo-saaah!
Although I have thus far not sullied my fb feed with any posts about Watermelon Woman, if and when I do choose to share something on my timeline about her, I think this will be it. As usual, Luvvie, you do not disappoint! Brilliant–I needed something that would express all my anger yet allow me to laugh at the same damn time!
Mam, you totally win for the ” Watermelon Woman ” , Lol !
Maybe it was the spirits of Sojourner’s truth that has kept her hair from flourishing this whole time.
If not Sojourner, then it was the ghost of Madam C. J. Walker reeking havoc every time Rachel walked into a beauty supply store.
Thank you…”If you have a way to opt out -then you are not in”. Period.
Luvvie – If you never ever write another thing in your beautiful life, I will be satisfied to read this piece again and again, every single freakin’ day. You need to drop the mic and kick that isht right off the stage. You are my girl FO’ LIFE!
(But please don’t stop writing ’cause it’s pieces like this that inspire me – and I’m sure MANY others – and give me all kinds of LIFE! Cotdamm! Yaaaaassss honey!)
Excellent piece of writing !!!
Well worth the wait !
Thank you ever so much. Its outrageous how many people want to give her a pass. I’ve been arguing this situation like a lawyer for black women all week.
This woman needs to be held accountable for being a summagoat. Lmao.
Luvvie! I’m so thankful to you! you never fail to say what has surely had my pressure up this week. Just thank you for this. This was the BEST!
Omg!!! Thank you so much for this beautiful read! Yaasss!!!
“Now we gotta check EVERYBODY’s receipts at the door. Registration is gonna take forever. YOU GOT RACHEL TO THANK FOR THAT, LIGHT SKINNED FOLKS!”
^^^ THIS right here. “Siddity”, “bougie”, “elite”, “think she’s too good” and “lite brite” were only some of the nonsense a lot of us had to deal with in school, from people who didn’t even know us, but just assumed. At least as adults, it was never a question of “black” (because who would lie about THAT???), but only if we were “black enough” (which is a whole ‘nother issue we need to get over). We gotta start carrying around wallet size copies of our childhood family portraits to validate our black card now? I’m mad all over again!
Phenomenally put. All of it.
Thank you, because I’m listening to people defend her actions and I’m struggling with the WHY? WHAT? WHY? So, thank you. For all of this.
As for the larger message, here’s what I posted to my FB account about my thoughts on the sitchiation a few days ago. Love it when I’m on the same page as Luvvie. So often when I read her posts it’s like she’s inside my head saying errthang I want to say, better than me. Today is no different:
June 12 at 1:49pm ·
I’m feeling some kind of way about this. On the one hand, I don’t care what color she is if she’s getting the job done. On the other, cultural appropriation is not okay. She could have done as much or more work as a white ally without denying her own racial identity. The massive dishonesty inherent in denying your own racial identity makes me want to delve further into her psychological makeup. Don’t give me that *blacks have passed forever” argument, either. We know why black folk pass(ed) as white. I don’t believe she did it just to get a job at the NAACP. She certainly didn’t do it so she could be treated “better”. So, why?
#conflicted #RachelDolezal #NAACP”
This post is so EPIC!!!! I was doing a church scoot and tornado rolls after reading it. This is everything and I wanted to say and more. I surely hope that you get some sort of award for this piece. It was definitely worth waiting for. Welcome back from Morocco. You were definitely missed.
I was really disappointed to see Melissa Harris-Perry defending this woman. Rachel Dolezal is a liar and a narcissist who should be drop kicked through the goal post of life.
By the way, congratulations on your pending book Luvvie. I already cleared a space for you on my Kindle shelf.
Whoops…I forgot to add my petty prayers for Rachel.
May she forever pat her weave and never find that itch.
Also may she be plagued by a lifetime of ashiness that cocoa, shea butter, Jojoba oil,Eucerin, Nivea and Keri lotion combined will never be able to control.
Last, may her chitlins always be fouled with a back door flavor.
Where’s the Atlanta Voice newspaper and their headlines when you need them? What happen? How it happen? Can it happen again? I gotta give it to her for taking a small bit of light off Jenner. When this story first broke I read so many comments not knowing what to say or how to feel about this woman. What do you say? Crazy. I will say this, look at that old picture of her tail, she’s as plain as a slice of bread. She prolly felt like she needed to amp up her game and took it to the extreme. LOL How in the world could she fool so many people? Is that make up, did she ever get caught out in a rain storm? Nobody caught on…nobody?
*STANDING & APPLAUDING!!!* Sistah, you just penned the “NEGRO PULEEEZZZE!” MANIFESTO! Please copyright and trademark this. We need to stop reciting “I Have A Dream” and recite this article that should be titled “Heifah, Stop Dreaming!” to folks who think this chile is fine and we should just ignore this foolishness that she perpetrated. And we should be even more appalled that the NAACP is just as insane in the membrane as she is, for supporting her for simply for her “work’s sake.” These negroes are just glad to be workin the house and not in the field anymore! Where is Al Sharpton, Jesse J., and Cornell West, now??? Y’all need to fry some chicken, jump in the car and carpool it to Spokane. Stand outside and declare, “No Justice! No Peace!” to this crime of “identity theft” that has been perpetrated by Rachel Dolezal, and cite the NAACP as her “accomplice.”
Once again, the REAL black tribe has spoken. Thank you my Sistah for snuffin’ out her torch once and for all. Now let me get back to greasin my scalp and braiding my REAL black hair!
REAL BLACK GIRLS ROCK!!!
“It surely isn’t about whether “nude” band-aids actually blend in with your skin.”
For real tho…
I want to cunt punt this chick clear up to the high heavens. She is NOT black. End of story. I am truly puzzled by the POC who are defending her. This is privileged to the extreme. As a black woman unless I get one of those makeup artist from Face Off to paint me, I NEVER have the option to be anything but a black woman. Rachel could go back to being Becky with a 15 minute shower.
I care not what she may or may not have done for Black folks. BTW, I have yet to see any receipts about all the alleged good she has done. If any exist, I still don’t care because she wrapped all that so called good up in a lie. Just think about what she could have done working as an ally. Imagine how encouraging she could have been to other white folks.
Lastly it’s a bit offensive to compare what she did to trangendered people. There are people literally dying because they cannot live their authentic selves. You think Rachel is gonna die because she can’t wear braids and spray tan?
UGH! everytime I think about this chick I get pissed.
“Just think about what she could have done working as an ally. Imagine how encouraging she could have been to other white folks.”
YES! THIS! Thank you!
“There are people literally dying because they cannot live their authentic selves. You think Rachel is gonna die because she can’t wear braids and spray tan?”
THANK YOU SO MUCH!!!! All these people…I can’t even. At first I tried to argue. But now I see the comparison for what it really is.
The top has been peeled off of cisgender culture as people continue to defend this woman. And cis culture has loudly hollered that they only see trans lives as lies. Just like this woman. This has been a wake up call for me as a trans man. It means I can never take what looks like progress and acceptance at face value.
SPEAK TRUTH, SISTAH!!!!! PREACH!!! Your article summed up everything I had been posting to others on various platforms, been thinking, and feeling about this whole ugly mess!!! You validate me as an intellectual person who deserves to be taken seriously and as Black woman, who is too through with being ignored! You give voice to Black women, and you are affirming that my voice matters!!!!
YOU GIVE ME LIFE, sistah!!!
The whole thing is like some really bizarro version of Douglas Sirk’s “Imitation of Life” but with a fool as the lead character.
You, as usual, are the voice of reason and call it the way it needs to be called. I am stunned that she’s being defended and compared to Caitlyn Jenner.
I couldn’t disagree more with this article or the universal truths the author purports are real and not a social construct. The “realness” of being black is only as true as the environment accepts, and the belief of the claimant. How many dark skinned people’s of the world will fight you on the spot if you dare refer to them as black? How many Egyptians sidestep the notion that they are African, a land historically populated by “black” people. How many African Americans have a larger combined genetic percentage of non African DNA, and yet, they claim to be, and are treated by society as truly black. Whatever that means. Throughout history, many “black” people with light skin complexion have passed as white, and due to their appearance and insistence, many were accepted and treated by society as just that. Clearly, a social construct.
I have no doubt that this woman “pretending” to be black has some issues that would likely require therapy. The lying is unacceptable, and speaks to her credibility. However, if at some point in her life, she found that she not only more identified with the African American experience, but literally felt that in her heart and soul (pardon the pun), she was a black woman, who are we to deny her that prerogative. And if the consequences of her revelation resulted in experiencing some of the negative aspects of living as a minority in this country, then those experiences are real. The idea that her activities and position as a civil rights leader of a historically black organization takes away employment or leadership from “real” black women is a joke, a small-minded argument. We have a alot to do and a long way to go when it comes to equality and civil rights, and every helping hand is needed. Of course, we have more than enough reason to be suspicious of the help we receive, and even more suspicion given the revelations concerning this chapter president. However, I would urge constraint, empathy, and an alternative to throwing the baby out with the bath water.
Yeah, but. She wasn’t a white woman saying “I identify as a black woman.” She’s a white woman lying about being black. That’s an entirely different set of rules. Plus, you fail to note that passing is something most do to avoid persecution, advance their career chances, secure their personal safety, distance themselves from a derided population, stay alive (yes, to stay the hell alive in a dangerous and bigoted world), or otherwise try to reap a benefit denied to people of their race or skin color. Passing is something people traditionally do to escape injustice, not to experience it.
I’m embarrassed by her. I’m just embarrassed and angry.
AJ, you need to go back and read this article, this time for comprehension: “What’s important to recognize is that someone can deliberately perform what they (or we) believe is the opposite of Blackness in America, live in a white neighborhood, have a white partner, even pass with appearance and will never have full access to whiteness. This same person can have a child that could turn out brown-skinned, could be outed as Black by a family member or actually still identify as Black. Who is white in America is defined by institutional power, and Black folks have never held that type of power. If transracialism even existed Black folks wouldn’t have access to it.“
And that passage is but ONE part of this article that you need to revisit. #readingisfundamental.
Agree With you AJ.
Me too – many good points raised without saying that any of the cheating was ok or right.
I disagree. Any time you can walk away from an experience it is not real. When you have the option to take off that identity it is not real. The black man with the ebony skin, full lips and black eyes can’t take his face off and be white for a day. There’s always going to be that white woman holding her purse even if he has an engineering degree. My Muslim Arab husband can’t look white enough to keep some people from thinking he’s planning a jihad. He can’t blend in or say he’s feeling white today or identifying with the white experience. While I look Arab yet white enough to move between both worlds I would be insulting my Arab sisters to say I know their experience because I can look and sound white enough to walk away from the abuse if I chose to. Even if I never chose to, I have the ability to. They have lived that experience since birth. They can’t get away from it. That M=makes it a very different experience.
Thank you!!!! You were in my head & we are on the same page! Yes!!
#UnnaStandMe You nailed it Luvvie! I can’t take this royal robe of Blackness off when I get tired and throw it somewhere when I get ready. I don’t have that Option. I hope I don’t have to check my “Light-Skin” at the Door! I do have a VIP Pass. Thanks to #AskRachel Great Piece!
Yes. All of this. Yes!
Thank you sooo much for your insight. I have been utterly appalled at the amount of cosigning I have seen blacks do with this woman. Some of us are so needy for white acceptance, we’ll take it in any form that it comes. She a lie and I will not accept her chicanery.
I don’t see it as being needy for white acceptance. To me it just seems like they are trying to take a more balanced view of the situation – I haven’t seen (or any?) saying all she did was fine. I think it’s really easy not to understand where others are coming from. To see different sides takes more effort. Is it possible some of the people you’re talking about were simply doing that when you cut them off for disagreeing with your black/white version?
“Registration is gonna take forever. YOU GOT RACHEL TO THANK FOR THAT, LIGHT SKINNED FOLKS!”
I’ll be there half an hour before it starts and I’ll be in and out in no time…
“Maybe it was the spirits of Sojourner’s truth that has kept her hair from flourishing this whole time.”—-that right there killed me
I am just too mad to be cute and I did try, but I will just have to rant and rave:
She frames her narrative very differently from transgender people. The struggle of trans-people is very well articulated as “feeling trapped in the wrong body”. Rachel articulated her struggle by appropriating the black struggle. I have never heard a transgender woman talk about her struggles growing up as a little girl/ They always talk about being in the wrong body. The talk about being ostracized for trying to live their true selves. Rachel’s story was about the struggle of growing up as a black girl. If there was ever such a thing as trans-racial then her struggle would have been “growing up as a white girl who knew she was black.”
My other issue is that she not only appropriated blackness she played it a particular way. Why couldn’t she have been black with a middle class background, why did she have to have this narrative of poverty. To be black she only needed to tell one lie, “I have a black parent.” that would have been enough but she had to construct this poverty and violence. So am I to understand that to her legitimate blackness (I say this because obviously she has been going around policing blackness) is composed of poverty and violence.
It is possible to connect to another’s struggle without appropriating it. I am African so when I read the history of slavery I feel empathy because this happened because they were black, that was the only reason. I think it is disrespectful to parallel it to colonialism because although the experiences were similar to a tee and both conflate to constitute the black experience, I do not need to compare a travesty to my own history for it to become legitimate. I do not need to compare medical experimentation on slaves to medical experimentation on Africans in the colonies for both experiences to be legitimate instances of inhumanity. Both are strong enough to stand on their own.
Lastly, she is not the first white person to become black. Historically speaking. After world war 2 some Jews could not reconcile themselves to what they considered White Americas complicity (given that white american billionaires did fund the Nazi party) in the holocaust so they became black. How? By filling it on their forms then later marrying black and then fully assimilating. They did not put on black face, they did not fix their hair a certain way, they did not own black history because they had their own for them it was as simple as “No I am not white. so if you were planning to give me something because you think we are somehow bonded, no but no thanks.” In apartheid South Africa some Indians actually switched race to black as a show of solidarity (Gandhi wasn’t too happy about those lost ones). It has been done before respectfully and a lot of times for political reasons. Not because some white girl wanted to put on some beads shake her booty at white people to teach them African dances with her African brothers!
Her record my foot, SHE COULD HAVE DONE ALL THAT AS A WHITE WOMAN!
^^^ This! Love it!
‘scuse me, ‘scuse me…. I’m a need to come take that mic so I can drop it for you!!!
I got elders telling me they thought I was a decent person until I expressed my bigoted views toward this charlatan. SMH
This ridiculous idea that because she has done work in the community (and she has) means she has done more …I can’t even go there.
I am just going to reroute
you know how non-white women have been informally taking in children from their communities and raising them as their own, google “other mothering” and no one cared but as soon as a white woman adopts one non-white baby they are a saint…
wrong route, rerouting again.
Will let you know when I find the right direction to take.
When you come from a family of assorted nuts, what else can you be? The schism between her and her family is what made her whiter-than-white family (look at that background! how white can you be? this white here!) decide to bust her out. What did they gain from it?
And what on earth drives a privileged white person to consciously join a disenfranchised, struggly bunch of people? Is it for the cool in us? Extreme white guilt blown up like a hot air balloon? A science experiment? What? Why? This is like getting a full ride scholarship and saying “sorry, I prefer to be inundated with student loans for the rest of my life.” Why choose to fight and get fought?
I don’t care about her NAACP leadership; it was started by Jewish people anyway. And the last time they were relevant…okay, I can’t think back that far.
This article is piss poor pathetic and crass. Then to use Janet Mock who is a dude disguised as a woman further proves the point of this crass ass writing. #Hyprocrite
I assume this isn’t the first article of Luvvie’s you’ve read….
So…….why do you read people only to hate on their opinions? Have none of your own? Can’t articulate them as well or as pithily as she does? Or are you just an ordinary, run of the mill troll who believes anyone give two fuqs about what you have to say?
Great post but speaking the truth in Luv sis (Luv, see what I did there) when he was alive MJ got it bad verbally, if his death taught us anything, it was to live and let live and that everyone’s not the same but that makes life awesome, that was a good example but I don’t understand the shade. It’s like people are still coming for him, they just have to mention SOMETHING, why when there is so much good to point out, the negative has been done enough. How would anyone be in his shoes, it just shows not how weird and weak he was but unique and stronger than anyone ever knew.
When asked are you African American, she states I don’t understand the question. You are a college educated professional and what part of the question you don’t understand. But, you understood for 15 years how to portray a black person and get away with it, but you are saying you don’t understand a simple question that a 5 year old could answer.
If she lied about her nationality Lord knows what else she has lied about as well.
Girl, you crazy. Funny and dead on. “She ain’t curled all the way over like some of her weaves”. LMFAO… I wrote about this too. If you can, check me out at getliftedgirl.org. Great read!
Some folks in their defense of US have shown themselves to be really ignorant. Someone said she adopted negative stereotypes to pretend to be Black. The stereotype? Natural hair. Because natural hair is negative to White people according to this person. So much ignorance surrounding this debacle.
For me the negative stereotype was all that fake poverty and whippings with baboon whips! Although yeah people really showed their ass on this front.
With all this fakeness to be BLACK, did she get a fake butt too? If you are going to try to be BLACK, hell go all the way! Get a Serena Williams booty. By the way, great article.
You have literally said everything I have been thinking and discussing with other since the story broke. She is just another example of cultural appropriation by whites and a modern day blackface. I too was amazed about the number of us who rushed to defend another damsel in distress white woman.
so social constructs are everywhere! !!! Marriage is a socail construct and now gay people are apart of a construt that by its very definition excluded them directly and purposfully, so as we can see social constructs can not only challenged but changed. How is undergoing a physical change from man to woman and darkening skin and wearing wigs to create the illusion of a different hair texture differnt from removing your penis and growing breasts?
My issue with Rachel isnt that she’s encompassed our minds nor the fact that she is why black women are now geting more unwanted attention for shit we don’t want anything to do with; my issue is that we are all (in one way or another) arguing for the bullshit we bought hundreds of years ago; the idea of race in general.
We are so tied to the chain and so afraid of being erraticated as a people that we forget that what Rachel is really imitating isnt a race but a culture, the culture that she identifies with and apparenlty has longer than before the picture her parents (who like trangender parents are mourning the loss of the child they knew)ditrubuted to the media shows. I, nor you, nor anyone in this posts knows anything other than what we’ve been told…unless Rachel shows up three weeks from now as the lighter and brighter version of herself (let us pray that doesn’t happen) then (for me) the issue is why not let her identify as she sees fit? She gets no kudos for being NAACP president nor Afrikaans professor, she’s not blacker than me on paper or in real life, as a culture is not, nor canot be defined in such remedial ways. What she does get is the option to embarce a culture and the likeness of that cultural provided that is in earnest who she belives she is (just as a transgender woman gets to be the bro of all bro’s) If you ask transgender people when they plan to change back they tell you they never had a choice and if you ask Michael Rappaport he’d probably tell you the something (Google young people, Google) the point is Rachel can darken and teach and preach all she wants as long as its in earnest and never planned to change back because like transgender people it was never a choice. Race is a construct we cling to like Linus and his blanket we need it in America like Bush needed WMD’s its how we keep the war going its why the war continues on. But the truth is race is a bill of goods we need to demand a refund for, that is how we as a culture take our power back, not by losing our identity but by refusing to have to be idetified the way we’ve been told is the only way we’e we’re allowed to. If you feel inferior to white people that’s your problem, i know some white people that are no more privileged than they are white. I don’t deny my culture i don’t pretend i live in a country that can see me as i am with out need for a label, but i also am not going to pretend that it is ok to talk about “passing” and “white privilege” like they are supposed to be apart of my consciousness cus “massa” told me to. Fuck that.
If Rachel Dolezal is a “asshole” and a liar for asking people to perpetuate her lie because she’s mentally ill then heaven help her, but if she is a woman who feels like she was born the wrong complexion and went through the changes to live her life as she belives she should then let her live, but the truth is none of us know cus none of us know. the fight for Cival rights was not and is not about black people sitting in front of the bus, it was and is about our humanity about not being seen as chicken eatin monkeys who deserve being hung and kneed in the back while bikini clad. Lastly, transracial is NOT a word yhat should be applied here as it doesn’t mean anything in this context.
The social construct here is race; in science, there is no such thing as race. Culture is an equally nebulous term and subject to relativity. And in terms of those who are transgender (often confused with cross-dressing), they felt they were in the wrong body very early in life and were born that way so that too is a false comparison. This woman felt some kinship to black people; so much she adopted it as her ethnicity. Let her live the lie? Tell that to her parents since they outed her. But do not ever insult and diminish the experience and history of black people by claiming it as your own because you READ about it and you caught a case.
Cultural anthropologists live with, and behave as, the group they are studying; when it’s over, they leave. The experience may make them honorary members, but it doesn’t make them one of them.
I waited for this. I knew you’d be succinct and directly on point with your thoughts. Thank you. Welcome home, and thank you again. ~Alishia
Oh please, please let it be Emma Stone who plays her in the Lifetime movie. (See how ‘Aloha’ casts her in the role of a part Asian woman. sob)
As I white cis man I would like to share my opinion that…
j/k what a great read. I told a friend a couple days ago that no intelligent/thoughtful person could ever put any credence in the “transracial” thing. Holy shit people are fucked up. I am not even going to apologize on behalf of them either because a. that is bullshit to begin with and b. gross.
This was a very good article. You have to wonder what someone like that was thinking. There’s nothing wrong with having an affinity for another culture/colour, but this woman took it way too har. FWIW, I can legally claim to be African (born right here in the land of the Big Five) but I’m not black and it would be disingenuous for me to claim I was. And here, nobody cares except politicians.
You are african and not black yes and no. I interestingly also see the two as different identities but from a particualr perspective. So I am Kenyan and Kenya has actual racial politics owing to the fact that during colonialism tens of thousands of British whites were brought in in an attempt to move us towards say SA, i.e neutralize the local population by balancing it out. However for the every day Kenyan they are oppressed more by upper class Kenyans than by white Kenyans so I am aware that by being upper class Kenyan when I complain about racism another demographic complains about me. However when you leave the continent no one treats you as African. The first thing they see when they see you is black and then you get the black treatment, some of us had never interacted with police as suspects until they left Africa. The problem comes in when they discover you are black and african. Black has with it some added connotations of cool because it is understood as a but African means diseased, poor etc. So you get the black treatment and after that you get the African treatment.
Also historically I think Africans distance themselves from a black identity because we have absorbed certain stereotypes (violence, poverty etc) from the media about blackness which we reject. The way we talk about Black Americans on the continent (Africa) is quite frankly not much different from the way say Fox news talks about them. In the same thread the way black Americans talk about Africa is not different form the way white people talk about it (extreme othering), I find british blacks very different in this regard, they have a rather clearer picture of Africanness.
The term black was actually a term born in the pan-african movement and was not an america specific movement. As many africans were involved in its conceptualisation as Americans.
Not all africans are black and not all blacks identify as africans e.g ethiopians/ South Africans know they are black but do not necessarily identify as Africans. Some black people do not identify as African e.g Black Americans, Black British people by and large have a stronger Caribbean identity than an African one.
Also so she is b;lack American can I as an African decide to be not white but Jamaican? Riddle me that.
[…] is very real and painful, and I will leave it to those wiser and more articulate to sort this out (like this…read this). I don’t know why she did what she did, but I do know that calling her names, punctuated by […]
“And Black women are supposed to be flattered.”
LITERALLY that is the most important line on this whole thing…because the running joke is “who would event WANT to be a Black Woman ON PURPOSE?”
Me. I would. I’m pretty ok with myself, thanks.
Ok, first of all, I love you, Luvvie! Let’s get the mushy stuff out of the way. Yes! and I Live to every word you wrote!!! NOW…with that said. I offer an…excuse? solution? suggestion? conspiracy theory? YES, a Conspiracy Theory as to why this happened. Ready? ahem…
Did you notice Black women used to really go for light skin brothahs? Remember the days of Al. B. Sure, Kid (from Kid & Play) and anyone with the last name DeBarge? All of us was after them and Dark Skin brothahs was mad. But then, light skin brothahs went out of style, so to speak. And we was all about the Darkness: Morris Chestnut and the earth-god, Idris Elba (a moment of silence). But then…Michael Ealy showed up. And with him, a whole new crop of light skinned brothahs and even some straight up sexy white men (hello Robin Thicke!) started us checking them out again. This had to stop. But HOW?
I think this whole Rachel Dolezal thing just might have been orchestrated for two reasons: 1) to stop us talking about the racist cops who brutalize & murder our people (!!!!!). And 2) *conspiracy theory* this was orchestrated by the Coalition of Dark-Skin Brothahs Political Action Committee (“CDB PAC”) to stop light skin brothahs from rising up again. I mean think about it. Now that Rachel has taken Iggy to the next level, would you REALLY trust that Blue-eyed Michael Ealy? Is he really a brothah? ijs, I suspect all light skin folks now. *looks at Mariah Carey with suspicion* So, I think the CDB PAC is behind this whole thing. They probably paid Rachel with unlimited chicken wings from the strip club (you know they be having the BEST wings there!). lmao
LOL!!! You’re my kind of crazy! And, just further perpetuating this crazy…uh…I mean, conspiracy, theory; the outcome of the NBA Finals will let us know whether the CDB PAC is making any real inroads. As it currently stands, it’s not looking so good.
“I mean think about it. Now that Rachel has taken Iggy to the next level, would you REALLY trust that Blue-eyed Michael Ealy? Is he really a brothah? ijs, I suspect all light skin folks now. *looks at Mariah Carey with suspicion* ”
See I knew this was gonna happen. The first time I hear somebody say, “Gitcho lite-skinded, fake azz Rachel Dolezal azz outta here” (and you know it’s coming) Imma hunt that heffa down and whoop her AZZ! Just kidding, for real tho-
Love your post tho – Lorna. I’m just playin witcha!
I know you mean it as a joke but it would never have been ‘orchestrated’ to take minds off a genuine issue I.e. Police brutality, because the importance on this isn’t being fed to us – it’s something that people are choosing to get hung up on.
Where there has been any genuine crime/cheating with gain then that should be taken care of but aside from that the reality (imo) is it should be viewed as an amazing story, negatively speaking, just an odd story to be read with curiosity, before you move on to more important things.
Excellent article. One quick correction. You have it backwards how black and white work. Not people…the actual colors. 😉
In the visible spectrum, white reflects light and is a presence of all colors, but black absorbs light and is an absence of color. Black can be defined as the visual impression experienced when no visible light reaches the eye.
I expected that some Black folks would defend her. That is usually par for the course. But I was/am overwhelmed by the enormity of the support this woman has garnered! “..leave her alone, she loves us, she’s done more for us, she does good work, she’s a hero…” I was literally becoming ill! After a while, though, I began to think less about this woman and her antics and have now been very steadfastly considering, researching and discussing the very real psychological effects of centuries of slavery, followed by decades upon decades of more oppression, degradation, terrorism, etc. How else do you explain the belief that we should be grateful and accepting of someone who so fraudulently became someone she is not? So grateful that a white person wanted to be black and “she helped us” that we should overlook her lies… I am in mourning for my People.
“my soul looks back and wonders…”
Thank you! I thought I was a crazy white woman for thinking this lady was wrong, wrong, wrong. And, for being appalled by the amount of people defending her actions.
Black folks have no one to blame but themselves. Best advice I ever got: in every bad situation ask yourself what you could have done differently. The only thing we have control over is ourselves. We can’t control other people.
We let everybody and their mother claim black based on the one drop rule. We accept everyone into our community with open arms. Shoot! We call Amber rose black when she is > 75% white. Then now we want to act outraged with Rachel? Please. If you believe than every person came from black and than one drop of black blood makes you black then why the outrage?
ALL OF THIS! Can we talk about it?! I was so mad when Black people was on Twitter like, “why can’t she wanna be Black if Caitlyn Jenner wants to be a woman?” Sir, you are comparing Apples and Ford Escorts and I am not pleased. I am NOT a caricature to be paraded about by white women and then I’m supposed to be flattered that she pretended to be one of us? No, Ma’am. And what’s worse is the NAACP defended and stood by her. -__- the NAACP has needed to be disbanded since 1981. I’m not with any of their tomfoolery
Ok lets get to the elephant in the room. First of all I feel a lot of bigotry in this as well in most of the comments. I think the main problem everybody is having is that she lied about it. Okay, I get that. But there are people that we let pass who has done WAY worse than what Rachel is doing. If you can sit there and call Bruce Jenner a hero for what he/she has done, or allow some of black media to perform buffoonery on television and give us a negative image of ourselves, the why the hell should Rachel be ostracized? OH I get you all are mad because she actually pulled it off and went that far. You all are judging her without really hearing her side of it. You call it black face….Really? She is not walking around like some of the so called “real black women” half naked getting butt implants going after POS men, Or a diary of a mad black woman waiting to exhale…..see what I did there. But is portraying herself as an educated woman regardless of what her race is. Would you all have this reaction if she openly white. Doubt it. But because she wanted to look and be part of our culture that makes her public enemy number one? At least hear what she has to say about it.first before we pass judgement., and most of all stop hating. This is why we cant go forward as a people.
My problem is not that she lied about it. It’s that she claimed an experience that she didn’t have. There’s a nuance there that you might not be getting. My blackness is a lifelong experience. It comes from Saturday nights in grandma’s kitchen getting hot combed for black church the next morning. It comes from learning how to cook Sunday dinner at grandma’s elbow, while she tells the stories of our history. It comes from visiting a white neighborhood as a kid and getting called names. It comes from learning how your grandmother did day work, during the depression, and being proud that grandpa was a highly skilled brick mason. It comes from growing up listening to daddy’s stories about separate cars for blacks on the trains, and conditions that grandma and grandpa lived in the south before they came north.
It comes from seeing the pain of our darker sisters, cousins and friends when their beauty is questioned or they are rejected by some man who doesn’t recognize it. It comes from the guilt and insecurity of our lighter skinned sisters when we get a promotion we KNOW we’ve earned, but wonder inside if it had something to do with making white folk feel comfortable because we’re not “black black” and they need to be able to claim some “diversity” in the upper ranks.
Blackness is not a hair style and a fake tan. It’s not a costume to be donned as an adult. It is a cumulative effect of experiences that happen over a lifetime. More than that it’s GENERATIONAL. My mother was married to a black man for 30yrs, birthed and raised three black children and lived in inner city Detroit all her life. SHE does not claim to be a black woman, but this bish gets a pass? Hell no! How would you feel if some Jim Carrey MF spayed on some tan, as an adult, then went around telling everyone he knew the “struggle” of being a black man as much as you did? You, who have lived it all your life. He knows as much about being a black man as you do. How could he? How could he POSSIBLY know what you know about being a black man? Now tell me why we’re supposed to be okay with this imposter running around in a weave and some spray tan, talking about how she knows the black woman’s struggle…
You nailed it. In my heart I am trans-Arab. Would I pass myself off as an Arab and lie about my heritage and fake some struggle? No. That would be an injustice to those who lived it. Like your mother, I live in an Arab household, married to an Arab man, live the culture, etc., but I need to be sensitive to what it means to experience that life. Even if I feel I was born to the wrong culture, I did have the experiences of my own life, and faking someone else’s experiences is degrading to the culture you are supposed to respect, admire and identify with. I am very accepted as I am without being a faker. You can imitate with respect without lying. Once you lie you are just mocking.
*stands and applauds*
You just have to wonder if she’s every thrown around the N word in all of her authenticity?
YES!!!! I thought the same thing. And I’m sure she used the “ah” ending instead of “er” because, RECLAIMING.
I love the phrase “behavioral blackface”. I think that’s what it comes down to–apologists saying “But it was benevolent behavioral blackface!! She was doing the work!”. Benevolent sexism is still sexism because it comes from a basis of women being inferior and needed to be taken care of. Benevolent prejudice still causes serious harm even though stereotypes are rooted in “positive” beliefs about traits. Her intentions while performing this appropriation of racial identity are irrelevant. She was taking the space, voice, and educational opportunities of actual women of color because… her white voice is more important? She knows best? Just, no.
Thanks for adding this voice!
I honestly couldn’t get through this article after you started talking about her taking a job from a black woman. You don’t have to be black to support or work within the leadership of the NAACP. For you to say that “transracial” does not exist is shortsighted. You don’t know what it’s like to grow up in a house with white parents and all black siblings and friends. How is what she did ANY different from Caitlyn Jenner checking the “female” box at the doctors office the next time he goes. He is technically a man. Maybe Rachel identifies so much with the black community that she believes she is truly black. For you to argue that someone can be a woman in spirit born into a man’s body, but NOT be black in spirit born into a white body is just asinine. But what I’ve gathered from the 2 articles that I’ve read on your website is that you are so racist against white people, you probably already hated her when you thought she was only “half-black.” You and those like you are the reason racism gets perpetrated in this country every single day. Start treating ALL races as you wish to be treated instead of constantly hating on people for being white, and then maybe you will see that MOST Americans (yes most- there are a lot of ignorant people in this country but that category covers all races) will treat you with same respect that you offer to them. I can’t change my white skin any more than you can change your black skin. But we can treat each other as humans and try to find common ground in working together instead of constantly trying to make things a “black issue” or a “white issue” as this is all you seem to do.
OMG!!!!! what a GREAT read!!!!!! I’ve kinda NOT really known quite how to feel about this!!!! AS I TOO AM A SCRONG BLACK WOMAN!!! ha ha ha ha ha ha ha haha ha
This is CRAZY YA’LL!!!!! it’s like munchausen by blackpeeps…(lol)
I am Soooo glad i read this, again didn’t know quite how to feel, needed to get this from a REAL woman of color….
I did have a HUGE problem with her getting scholarships for Howard University that was meant for people of color, she LIED on that app too~ can they take her degree? WOW!!!!! This was not only insightful it was entertaining as well…i now know how to feel! ha ha ha ha this is the weirdest shit!!!!
One MORE thang…no hairdressers came forward in all these years and said, SHE WHITE!!!??? lolol you gotta sew that shit to somethin, her own shit was BONE straight! I’m pissed she cancelled her interview for tonight…ok, thanks again!!! =) Sharing this with all my REAL black girlfriends NOW!!! they will FALL OUT!!!!!
Re hairdressers: Thanks for boiling down whether you’re black to just the type of hair on your head
I have been scratching my head at this one for days. I get feeling like an ally. But questioning other’s blackness? WHAT THE HOLY WHAT? The only thing I can imagine is that one small lie in college (my great grandma was mixed?), which lead another and another. Kind of like how whatsherface became a drug kingpin in Weeds? Before you know it, she’s got a fake black dad, she’s militant and fighting the good fight. How do you keep that lie together? With social media? And a public position at the NAACP? I can understand how one lie can grow and frame your whole existence. But how can you get away with it with social media? No one from high school or college noticed you’re not the same race? Thank the gods she harnessed that power for something non-evil and didn’t use it to become a serial killer. We need to study her and learn from her. Cause she’s got something special doin. I just don’t know what it is.
Thank you for helping me to understand the nuances of this fiasco. As a white girl, I need all the help I can get.
Another white girl seconding this.
I think that somewhere we’re missing this woman’s mental illness and its cause. Her parents had her naturally but then adopted 4 Black children and a Haitian child. Rachel is their only white child (that I can find, anyway). That says something…like her parents preferred Black children…and so she became one. There have been allegations that there was some abuse of at least one adopted child, maybe the one Rachel took custody of, and that the parents were into some pretty weird religious stuff (I have no idea what). I don’t like what she’s done at all, but if she’s mentally ill because of some mess her parents have made, I’ll cut her a tiny bit of slack. Why is no one exploring this angle?
Ooops…3 adopted black sibs and one adopted Haitian sib.
Also, she’s claiming she was born in a teepee (she wasn’t but her father once lived in one), wore moccasins as her first shoes, started seeding her own “crops” at 3-4 yrs of age (I guess on the rez…I don’t know), and was disciplined with a sjambok. Clearly, she’s delusional. Doesn’t make what she’s said and done OK by any means, but it seems that something weirder than Rachel has been going on.
THIS. Out of all the discussions I’ve had about this situation, this is the one aspect of it that has seemed to be glazed over. Yeah, it’s easy enough to call her crazy, but at some point we’ve gotta go past the surface and see that something serious had to happen in this woman’s past for her to want to attempt to scrap it and write a whole new background for herself. Am I condoning her spending the past 20 years spinning a false tale about her life and claiming to be a black woman? Not in the slightest. But I do feel for her because there’s clearly something psychologically not right with her and someone, a friend or a family member that she’s still on good terms with, needs to step in and get her some help.
Excellent analysis of a very sad situation. I am new to your blog but have it enjoyed very much. Keep up the good writing.
[…] Awesomely Luvvie for the most humorous and honest take, and Jamelle Bouie for a sober-minded […]
Okay so i don’t care if she is black or white, asian or whatever. I believe if she has been chosen to fill the position she was working in, did a great job everyday to make a difference, let her just be the way she wants to be. Some white people like me have to go tanning to get a nice tan, makes me feel better that way, some black people are wish to be lighter skin toned, and asians have their own wishes. Not all, but some. She did not hurt anyone with her “African Americanness” , not in person or by race. Sure people on either side are surprised and doesn’t know the reason behind her decisions, but i have to tell you, media is such an AHOLE turning someones life miserable based on her racial self statement, instead of focusing on what she has done for people… What did CNN, MSNBC and other channels do for people? First, get the story, speculate, accusing, if not right apologising /rarely/ but if right about it bragging for days and weeks… Media sucks
When I say this is EVERYTHING I’ve been trying to say for days!!!!!!!!!! You are awesome doe!!!! Like for real!!!! I’ve been arguing with folks about this foolishness until I just can’t anymore. THIS shuts it DOWN you hear me??????? Yassssssssssssssssssssss!!!! We are not a science project or a Halloween costume. Rachel can kiss my a#$!!
“Transracial is not a thing like being transgender is.” is a handwave-y response I keep hearing over and over about this. I’m sure the phrase “Transgender is not a thing” was uttered over and over and over again when transgender people were starting to become more and more visible. It wasn’t a “thing” – one that is recognized as a legitimate identification – until it was “a thing”. So what’s the critical difference, again? Rachel Dolezal is at least partly wrong. She fabricated a back-story and actively deceived the people around her into thinking she had a different past than she did. She recruited others to participate in this deception. She possibly committed hate crimes against herself in an attempt to lend further legitimacy to her identity. This was wrong. But if you take away all of this – the deceit and faked hate crimes – and thought about a person who did none of that but still “felt black”, would everyone still be so sure that being transracial is not “a thing?”
On the next job application, loan application, medical history… I have, I’ma check the “white” box. And when and if I get that interview. I”m gonna stare that interviewer right in the face and be like “what”…I feel white, so I identify as white… will it work as well for me as it did for Rachel Dolezal?
I just wanna know what #alphet you’ll be wearing when you collect your Pulitzer Prize for THIS. RIGHT. HERE!
*swoons from all the good righteous anger and truth-telling but grabs for the coconut oil for extra moisture on the way to the floor*
I don’t even know where to begin with this one. What scares me more is that all the things that I went through with discrimination, racial profiling, and harassment for being black are being downplayed because a woman who wants to be black says that she is. Rachel Dolezal is the live and living version of “BLACK FACE”. She took this to a new level of low. I can’t understand for the life of me, why she wanted to be like me. My question is will I be able to get my identity back for being a black woman in American when a White woman in America took that part of me? I don’t know how many of you feel but I feel like my identity has been raped through societal eyes because of Rachel. Trans-race disorder my eye. She is a complete jerk and made a mockery of the black race. This is the real life version of Soul Man the Movie (1986 “comedy” staring Mark Watson). Okay Rachel since you want to be me so bad how about you help me pay close attention little white girl you are going to see how it really feels to get your name and reputation dragged through the mud for doing exactly what white people did to people in my race for years you lying, cheating, identity stealing wanna be like me. This is not a joke. This is not a social experiment. This is real life and I would hate to be on the receiving end of what you’re gonna get later. To her parents “why wait so late?” You know she has been “passing” for bi-racial for years and said nothing. There was something in it for you at first. Did the money stop? What happened? Did it hit to close to home for your conservative white constituents? Hum. It is ironic how that for years this chick roosted with black and no one noticed until now. Imitation of life — role reversal.
My friend Caryn Lee and I think Rachel is really Rae Dawn Chong in her best role yet!
Another beautifully written piece! Although I love all the writing and memes coming out of this news cycle, it depresses me that the mainstream media is covering Rachel Dolezal more than any police brutality or war crime in the past year.
I tried so hard to support her. I tried to see the good….but this ball of mess gets worse and worse. The work she did may be good…but it’s going to be overshadowed by her strange, weird actions.
Her greens prolly gritty, she coulda used some glycerine on that wig, I bet she don’t know how to make Kool-Aid the way it should be (syrupy), she doesn’t know the additional uses for Royal Crown Hair Dressing, and she still….STILL…can’t do the Wobble or the K-Wang Wit It.
Thank you. I was bothered by Rachel, and bothered by the acceptance of what I saw as a huge transgression. Seriously, my first thought was “I have to see what Luvvie has to say about this.” You took all of my feelings and put them in a succinctly-expressed order. Amen.
So apparently, Rachel sued her alma mater, Howard University, over discrimination!!
“If some of y’all borrowed from your special passion for defending white women to actually stand up for Black women, we might get somewhere.” Thanks for this truth
The best — if you can opt out, you’re not in it
You had me at the dry weave and pic of Bob Ross!! Genius.
I like your 80’s generation style.
You know whats funny.. and I can use the following analogous situation. .. These same folks out here riding for her, saying she can be black if she wants to, are the same folks who would beat a chick’s a** if she was “perping” their sorority. Well.. chick was perping OUR larger organization… We aint got NO papers on her…. no membership card on file at Headquarters….nada… but ya’ll wanna let her slide on in and be a tee-shirt wearing member doing the bare minimum.. because no one can point me in the direction of all this so-called “work” she was doing for us.. Ok girl…. LMAO
The behaviour also hurts white people, those who want better race relations and who are also tired of the nasty comments towards solid white folk.
Nevermind that one main aspect may be a form of
Look it up
I’m not trying in any way to defend Dolezal’s lying about her parents and siblings. But this article reeks of racism. And the way the author decides in her throne of power that sex is “fluid” and that “race” is not when we are born with BOTH is laughable. In the same way there are sex change operations today, someday it will be possible to undergo gene therapy and truly become a different race… what then?
One of the problems in our society that many fail to accept is that racism is not just a “white” problem and “color blind” is not a unilateral concept.
To demonstrate the abhorrent racism in this article, I will provide you a few direct quotes from this article and then provide you and “alternate reality” quote changing just a few words…
“Black women have always been in the trenches, fighting for equality. Even as our contributions have been erased, we’ve been there. We are the backbone of every movement that has advanced our people so the idea that some white woman who is donning what is essentially behavioral blackface is doing more than we have is not only insulting but it’s untrue.”
Alternate Reality Quote:
“Women have always been in the trenches, fighting for equality. Even as our contributions have been erased, we’ve been there. We are the backbone of every movement that has advanced women’s rights so the idea that some transgender woman who is donning what is essentially behavioral dress is doing more than we have is not only insulting but it’s untrue.”
“Furthermore, the work that she thinks she’s doing has actually hurt actual Black women because as she profits off behaving like us, she’s taking the place and taking the money out of one of our pockets. Many of us are never placed in the positions to tell our authentic stories as she gets stages to tell her made up ones.”
Alternate Reality Quote:
“Furthermore, the work that she thinks she’s doing has actually hurt actual christian people because, as a Jew, she profits off behaving like us, she’s taking the place and taking the money out of one of our pockets. Many of us are never placed in the positions to tell our authentic stories as she gets stages to tell her made up ones.”
“Also, by excusing and defending Rachel’s foolishness, people are setting a precedence that says to other white people that they can perform Blackness as convenient to them. It’s telling other white people that you can go get some braids and study Africana studies, have black friends and go to Howard and that makes you okay to call yourself Black.”
Alternate Reality Quote:
“Also, by excusing and defending Robert’s foolishness, people are setting a precedence that says to other transgender people that they can be a woman as convenient to them. It’s telling other transgender people born as males that you can go get some braids and wear a dress, have girl friends and go to an all girls school and that makes you okay to call yourself a women.”
How about everyone stop co-opting our shit. Go write your own blog with your alternative reality.
Now back to this blog – my edges are on a 12 step program and Luvvie has snatched me back to step 1.
You know that gif of a squid squirting ink on the bottom of the ocean with the text, “nope, nope, nope” written across it? That’s what this post needs.
Nope. Nope. Nope.
Let me start by stating that I’m a white woman just to make sure I’m adding context here. Now then, you, white person, are not allowed to whine about how you feel wronged by this post. Well, I mean, you are, but you sound like a jack ass. We have a different reality than people of color. Are there people of color prejudiced towards white people? Sure. Who can blame them? That said, their prejudice doesn’t hold white people back. Their prejudice doesn’t make white people fear walking down the street for fear of being frisked by a cop.
Stop trying to compare your life experiences to those of the Black community because you don’t have a leg to stand on.
You missed something in church, that’s for sure.
You slayed this article! Ms. luvvie
I came for the Jon Snow eulogy, but I stayed for the awesome commentary. I love the post!
So if you are half-Black and half-White do you get an invite to the annual Black Reunion ?! I guess im screwed. Black Racism is a curse.
[…] Even though she has done positive acts in a leadership position at the NAACP, she still could have done all those without using blackness as a costume. Luvvie wrote an awesome piece on this a couple of days ago. You can check it out here: https://awesomeluvvie.wpengine.com/2015/06/about-rachel-dolezal-blackness.html […]
Well done. This is the worst article about this controversy that I have read so far. What a waste of my time.
“Blackness isn’t definable but I feel like we know it when we see it.”
It took over a decade for the truth to come out. You said the woman is “a plum fool” but…it seems that in fact ‘we’ don’t necessarily know ‘blackness’ when we see it after all.
There could be a message in there for people who are open enough to look for it.
You are overly verbose.
Trust me, this isn’t peak foolishness. “Transgender” and “Transracial” are getting us there, but there’s plenty more foolishness to come.
[…] Luvvie Ajayi, Awesomely Luvvie blog: About Rachel Dolezal the Undercover Sista and Performing Blackness […]
Good article! I have some issues with some of the readers comments about transgender issues, it seems to be more complex an issue than many care or are equipped to think about. The whole Dolezal fiasco is sort of interesting. At first i wanted to feel sorry for her. Obviously there is an element of humor and outragousness about it. Obviously she is a fraud and took things way, way over the top. However in the real world, I have many friends, loved ones that have elements of her behavior or affectations (whatever) and I don’t think that its wrong. I mean without the positioning of themselves in leadership positions or going that far. I think there is an element of Grey area around this topic. I mean, I think a white person can “act” black or what many people would consider as acting that way, and still be an authentic person. People model themselves on influences around them and perhaps it is bull to limit that to, only those people with visually similar melanin levels. Maybe this is not the right place for me to blab about this.
Sean you’re trying to really understand the situation and look at it from various angles. You’re right, this isn’t the place to blab of such things. This is the place to be outraged over the odd behaviour of one person who did a number of things wrong and to create a stir about how much it’s damaged black women. Also if you want to make any claims about it being Rachel Dolezal’s fault that black people will now further perpetrate racism towards other black people based on light skin colour and/or other important proofs of blackness (hair, musical tastes, language), this is the place. But please keep any sensible, understanding and inclusive comments to yourself.
Atta girl Luvve!! Brilliantly stated, As a very white surfer in California, I Luvve you! 🙂
I have a black mother from West Africa and white father from Sweden. In Africa everyone is black, if you are not black skinned you are not black and there I am a a white person and I get all the white racist treatement. If I dance they laugh at me and call me white but they love my caramel colour. In Sweden I am black and when I dance they admire me and love my caramel colour. My other African Scandivian mulato friends and I get to be both of who we are , black and white. We have both cultures, speak both languages and love and embrace both sides. We are “Café au lait” we are Coffee and we are Milk put together and can not be separated. Funny story, sick woman ,send her to Africa she can try to say she is black with any story she will make people laugh!
[…] For some reason though, Rachel Dolezal’s story has gotten under my skin. I have co-signed this view and read various academic and sociological deconstructs yet wanted to add my own words to this. […]
I had to leave the social justice places because they could not incorporate mixed race into their analysis; to them, every dynamic was always tamped down into a tight little venn diagram where everybody involved was either a 100% member of the oppressor camp or 100% in the oppressed camp — and that with only one set of color-based issues. They just couldn’t deal with mixed race, and certainly not anybody whose grandparents were all of a different ethnicity (and only one was white).
It was depressing, knowing that the people who claim to be on the bleeding edge of social justice were completely blind to my existence.
But we are the fastest growing demographic and we will soon be everywhere and you cannot ignore us forever. YES YOU CAN PASS AS WHITE. I pass as whatever group I am standing next to. The mexicans think I’m mexican, the blacks think I’m black, the whites think I’m white. Whatever. I am none of them and all of them, at the same time.
(Btw, the correct analogy to gender when contemplating mixed race, would be someone who was born with both a penis and a vagina…! See why you guys can’t do anything without us??? Your analogies are all wrong. Anyway, trans people really are only cosmetically switching, just like this lady. However I wish her well because she’s more real than most about race.)
Wow! Seriously, thank you. Because, while some parts of this story involve lying and possible gain (though frankly with the gossip and vitriol being spread right now I’m not apt to pass judgement on that but rather leave it to those who have access to the real details) which I don’t agree with – if you take those things out of the discussion many are still levelling this insane level of hatred towards her as though she’s murdered someone. She hasn’t.
Wake up and see that you (each individual person) cannot tell the rest of the world how they should feel, be or identify as (whether they have black skin or not), and that there are many overlapping identities. Seriously, unless a person is actually hurting others – and I already mentioned this regarding her behaviour – then stop trying to make across the board statements as though you are some God who knows what everyone else thinks or feels.
This is a weird story but I think it can be a teaching moment – I’m not saying you can’t identify in a set way but please realise that others not only identify differently but that other people may have identities which change and/or involve less fluid boundaries (for example identifying multi-racially). That doesn’t make them wrong.
[…] https://awesomeluvvie.wpengine.com/2015/06/about-rachel-dolezal-blackness.html […]
Race IS a social construct though:
(Interview from The Colbert Report 11.19.14)
As for Jenner, does she know what’s like to be a woman just because she wears heels and makeup? Is that what being a woman is all about? What does being a woman mean?
The problem with Dolezal is that she’s a fraud. Jenner didn’t fake being a woman to become a leader of women’s rights, she was honest about what she felt. Had Dolenzal done the same, everybody would be praising her.
Rachel Dolezal is delusional. You can’t identify as something you can never be. You can’t identify with an experience that you can never have and you sure as hell can’t claim to love a culture that is a complex and multifaceted as “blackness” by only recognizing a very narrow definition of that very culture. Get a clue.
[…] I was captivated by the Rachel Dolezal story. Awesomely Luvvie put it perfectly. […]
[…] when #RachelTensions erupted this week, Facebook made it possible for me to hear from Luvvie, Jasmine, Kelly, A’Driane and Grace–actual women of color who had illuminating things […]
Not schizophrenia, though she does have some kind of mental problems. Maybe she had two personalities and one took over. Whatever it is, she needs help, not acceptance of it. Sure, it’s no big deal to wear your hair like a white woman if you are black or a black woman if you are white. There’s nothing wrong with helping black persons if you are white, or helping white persons if you are black. People do that stuff regularly. The problem is her whole life. She’s got serious issues and should be getting some care for them.
Did anybody ever see her dance?
[…] week I read Luvvie Ajayi‘s post about the whole Rachel Dolezal fraud, and something she said regarding white allies I think bears repeating […]
[…] This one is fairly recent but I used it so often recently when in discussions with people who didn’t understand why what Rachel Dolezal did is not okay and why it has nothing to do with Caitlyn Jenner ~ From Awesome Luvvie: About Rachel Dolezal the Undercover Sista and Performing Blackness […]
I was lead over here from The Bloggess, whom I have to thank for this link. Thank you so much. When I first heard about this woman I was only confused and had no idea what was going on. I’m still kind of confused. Did she just see this as a way to make money? It’s a horrid deception and I hope some how, some way, someone can charge her with something and lock her up for a while. Or suck whatever money she has made from this lie out of her. I know there are worse things in the world than what she has done. Doesn’t negate what she has done.
Absolutely fantastic! Thank you for taking the time to write this. I’m still trying to wrap my head around it, but you’ve cleared much of it up for me. I am most grateful that you explained what transracial actually means, as I first heard that term in undergrad. I interviewed my friend who identifies as transracial, having been adopted from Korea and raised by white parents. I was incensed that Rachel would use that word to describe her experience. <3 Much love.
I want to say something supportive and deep about the post, because it is AMAZING on every level, but I find myself entranced by Rachel as Bob Ross. Brava, Lady. 🙂
Best post I’ve read all year. I’m Venezuelan American, my mom black, my dad white. I happen to look more like my dad. I try to be a person of integrity and honesty and this is my honesty right here: I know I have mostly experienced being perceived as white (thus white privilege) all my life and I’m not going to, for a second, pretend I haven’t experienced that. I can’t believe so many don’t see your points. Maybe after reading they will. I hope so.
Excellent writing. Excellent points. I’m glad her parents finally spoke up. That must have been hella hard on so many levels, but they knew. And they are right. Their child’s lies are wrong.
Thank you to the Bloggess or I wouldn’t have found this. And thank you also to Awesomely Luvvie and many commenters on here for spelling out exactly how this woman’s actions have nothing to do with transgenderism and therefore showing what transgenderism is and promoting better understanding and acceptance for it.
I’m inclined to believe Rachel has a psychological problem. Because I don’t want to think someone would pursue her path arbitrarily. I can speak to the transgender facet as a transgender woman. Fear of societal repercussions and fear for one’s life cause over 40% of transgender youth to attempt suicide. Like Caitlyn I denied myself until I was 65 and risked public ridicule, physical assault, career, family and church because it was change or die. I don’t have Caitlyn’s financial resources to shape and mold myself but I don’t have to endure ridicule on such an expansive stage and that’s OK. I don’t identify with anyone but myself. Assigned male at birth I know I am despite appearances a woman.
Awesome article, except one term used way too frequently – “White Privilege”?!? Talk about perpetuating the racial divide with words! I firmly believe everyone deserves what they work hard enough for. If you get something just because skin color/birth “right” (including special scholarships just because you are a minority, or you are the heir to a rich-assed white guy), then you didn’t work for it and there is no pride. Saying white “privilege” is assuming that all white people have this magical fountain of fortune that they can tap into. To be told that I have an ingrained privilege because of my skin color degrades what I’ve done and what I’ve worked for. It’s insulting…don’t tell me I’ve been living a privileged life. What old Rachel did is pathetic, insulting, and very…psychotic-odd; however, everyone – whether you’re white, black, green, or indigo – needs to back up and quit victimizing/demonizing people because of their race/religion/occupation (I’m talking to the Cop Bashers)/etc. There are enough assholes in this world to fight with, I don’t want to have to defend my skin color/race against good people because it’s something I can’t control!! I don’t assume things based on skin color – don’t assume I’ve had an easy life because of mine!
We are all humans with more than our fair share of hardships, battles, and victories. Just because I’m white does not make my battles any less difficult than anyone else’s. *Jumping down from soapbox now*
This fact is almost never pointed out in articles about this deluded woman: Rachel Dolezal’s parents, the lovely people who outed her and shamed her in front of millions of people, were and are extreme right wing, conservative Montana Homesteader, young earth creationists. It was a given she was going to be broken in some way or another, and by “broken”, I mean insane. (Seriously, why don’t we remove children from these cesspits of child abuse? Oh, yeah… “freedom of religion”.) But OMG, it certainly was a very odd way for her brain to have fractured: she presented herself as the kind of person her parents probably feared and hated the most: a self-confident, well-educated, urbane black woman who spent her life fighting for the cause, i.e., lecturing other people on How To Be Better At Being Black.
Did she do wrong? Hell yes, she appropriated other people’s pain and troubles to justify her own life, to sooth the sickness she had inside, and she does seem to be self-aware enough to know she was doing wrong, but did it anyway. But I can’t help but think that it could have been worse: she could have become Michelle Bachman 2.0, another absolutely nuckin’ futz white woman, but one who, through her political power, has committed great wrongs and dealt great damage to good people. And we do not need another Michelle Bachman. We don’t even need ONE of those.
Thank you for your wonderful article, you’ve found great humor in this sick and sad situation.
I read about three paragraphs of this post and had about all I could take. When I initially heard about this women all I could do was shake my head in sadness and that was before I read the first three paragraphs here. I haven’t heard or learned half as much about this women as I have in the past 5 minutes here. I honestly didn’t want to know but I had seen this post linked in another blog and decided to check it out as it has such great reviews. I was hoping someone might have shed some sort of positive light to this women’s story. I didn’t want to know or hear about what this women claims, what she has achieved or much of anything at all about her simply because the initial news headline was enough for me to determine that there is something gravely wrong with this women. Wrong, in the sense that I just got a very strong anger or hurt vibe from her. I mean seriously, this is sad. She simply doesn’t know who she is. I pray for her healing.
[…] WTF?!? I’m totally done with Rachel Dolezal and her story. This is so many different levels of fuckery that even the most expert psychiatrist in this country can’t fully unravel and heal. Then there’s this. […]
[…] About Rachel Dolezal the Undercover Sista and Performing Blackness – Awesomely Luvvie […]
[…] Dolezal is stealing the identity of Blackness by pretending to be Black. By claiming to be “transracial”, she is misappropriating transgender people’s […]